CM Amarinder Singh’s ‘warning’ stirs up Punjab Congress leaders

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Chandigarh, April 27 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s latest diktat to the party leadership to perform or perish has not gone down too well with the Congress leaders in the state.

Ministers and legislators of the ruling Congress in Punjab have been warned by the party that if they do not ensure the victory of the Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha polls from their respective constituencies, they will face action.

The “action” here means that the Ministers could be dropped from the cabinet and legislators could be denied party tickets in the next Assembly polls. While a couple of voices have come out openly against the diktat, others have been subdued or just kept silent about the issue. Many have, however, welcomed the decision.

Leading the voices against the decision are Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Singh Bajwa and cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. While Bajwa questioned the logic behind such a warning, Sidhu has said that the win or loss would be the collective responsibility of the party leadership.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who stands by his words, is unfazed by the subdued criticism. “Incumbent Ministers in Punjab who do not succeed in ensuring a victory for the Congress, specially from the constituencies they represent, will be dropped from the cabinet.

“In the case of Congress MLAs, it has been decided that those who fail to perform in their constituencies will not be considered for tickets in the next Assembly elections,” he had declared, adding that the move was aimed at rewarding leaders based on a “performance-based” culture.

Amarinder has said that the Congress was out to achieve its ‘Mission-13’, that is, winning all the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Punjab goes to the polls on May 19.

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