Amarinder Singh submits resignation to Governor, says he feels "humiliated"
Chandigarh, September 18, 2021
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today submitted his resignation to the State Governor Banwarilal Purohit and said later that he had felt "humiliated" by the way the Congress leadership had treated him.
The Chief Minister, who has been battling a rebellion by a significant section of the Congress MLAs and frequent attacks by state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu , drove to Raj Bhavan around 1630 hours and handed in his papers.
Later, talking to journalists outside Raj Bhavan, he said he had informed Congress President Sonia Gandhi this morning about his decision to resign from his position.
He said he felt humiliated by the manner in which the Congress leadership had convened a meeting of the Congress Legislative Party in Chandigarh later today without consulting him.
He also pointed out that this was the third time in two months that a meeting of the MLAs had been convened and he felt that since questions were being raised about his functioning it was better for him to quit. "I feel humiliated," he said.
"Let them choose anybody who they think will be suitable for the Chief Minister's post," he said.
Asked about his future course of action, Amarinder Singh said he would consult his supporters, who have stood by him during his more than five decades in politics and nine-and-a-half years as Chief Minister, before deciding on the next steps.
"CM @capt_amarinder has met Punjab Governor and submitted his and his council of ministers' resignation," the Chief Minister's Media Advisor Raveen Thukral said on Twitter earlier.
Earlier in the day, the party's high command is said to have conveyed to the Chief Minister that he should resign to enable the election of a new leader.
"Amarinder Singh spoke to Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the morning and told her he is being humiliated and he will resign from the party," a close confidant of the Chief Minister, told IANS.
According to some senior party leaders, the high command has categorically asked Amarinder Singh to step down.
The minute-by-minute changing political development began at about 11.42 p.m. on Friday when Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat tweeted about the decision to hold an urgent CLP meeting on Saturday.
Almost 10 minutes later, state party chief Navjot Sidhu directed all the MLAs to be present at the CLP meeting.
The announcement by Rawat was seen as an indication from the high command to appoint a new leader under whom the party would go to the Assembly elections, slated for March 2022.
Responding to the political developments, former state President Sunil Jakhar tweeted: "Kudos to Sh Rahul Gandhi for adopting Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of Gordian knot."
"Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled Congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis."
The decision to call the CLP came in the wake of a fresh letter signed by a majority of Congress legislators who expressed dissatisfaction with Amarinder Singh and demanding his removal from the Chief Minister's post.
Meanwhile, the Congress deputed party general secretary Ajay Maken and Harish Chowdhry as central observers for the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting slated in the evening.