Four cabinet ministers and several Congress legislators on Tuesday raised a banner of revolt against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, saying they do not have “faith” in him as he has not fulfilled promises made before the 2017 assembly polls.
The four ministers — Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Charanjit Singh Channi — and around two dozen legislators met here at the residence of Bajwa on Tuesday.
Bajwa said they would seek time to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and apprise her of the political situation in the state.
He said “drastic” steps need to be taken and if there is a need to change the chief minister, then it should be done.
The development is expected to deepen the crisis in the Punjab Congress, just a few months ahead of the assembly elections.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Channi said several party legislators and ministers on Tuesday assembled here and expressed concern over the unfulfilled promises, including delay in justice in case of desecration of a religious text in 2015, arrest of the big fish involved in drug rackets and scrapping power purchase agreements.
He said Bajwa, Sarkaria, Randhawa and Punjab Congress general secretary Pargat Singh will meet the party high command.
These five are known detractors of Amarinder Singh.
The meeting comes amid severe criticism of two advisers of Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu for making controversial remarks on sensitive issues like Kashmir and Pakistan.
However, Sidhu was not present in the meeting.
The Congress has 80 legislators in the 117-assembly member house.
“A lot of promises have been fulfilled but those promises (the implementation of) which lead to friction with the opposition remain unfulfilled,” Channi said.
“We no longer have faith that these issues will be resolved. Therefore, we are seeking time from the party high command for a meeting,” he said.
He said nothing happened after the questioning of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal by the SIT in the Kotkapura police firing incident.
“Today the situation is such that our issues are not being resolved with the chief minister (Amarinder Singh) and that is why we are going to meet the party high command,” said Channi.
When asked if an attempt was being made to oust the chief minister, Bajwa said it’s not an attempt but the demand of the people.
To a question on the new face, Bajwa said that decision will be taken by the party high command.
He claimed that perception has gained ground in Punjab that Amarinder Singh and the Shiromani Akali Dal have “colluded” with each other and it has “damaged” the reputation of the Congress.
To a question on a possible cabinet rejig, Randhawa said they are not greedy for any post and only want fulfillment of the promises made to the people before the polls.