Punjab CM expresses anguish to Sonia Gandhi over 'humiliation', say sources ahead of key Congress meet

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Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, reportedly put on notice by the Congress ahead of an unprecedented meeting of MLAs called this evening, has told Sonia Gandhi he "can't continue in the party with this kind of humiliation", sources say.

Amarinder Singh is learnt to have talked to Gandhi and expressed his anguish over his repeated "humiliation". There was no official confirmation about the chief minister calling Gandhi.

This came after it was revealed that over 50 Congress legislators from Punjab had written to party president Sonia Gandhi seeking that Amarinder Singh be replaced as chief minister.

The MLAs in their letter to Gandhi sought the convening of the CLP meeting, being held at 5 pm today, at the Congress Bhawan in Chandigarh. The high command has deputed senior party leaders Ajay Maken and Harish Chaudhary as central observers.

AICC general secretary in-charge for Punjab affairs of the party Harish Rawat will also be present during the meeting.

Sources said the current crisis is "serious" with so many MLAs seeking the chief minister's replacement just a few months ahead of Assembly elections in Punjab.

Sources said anything could happen at the CLP meeting considering the MLAs' demand and the urgency of the meeting. If the MLAs insist on their demand, the change might happen at the CLP meeting itself, they said.

Amarinder Singh's bete-noire and PCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is eyeing the chief minister's post, however, is not in the list of probables for the chief minister's replacement, the sources said.

Trouble between the two factions has been brewing for long and Amarinder Singh was strongly opposed to Sidhu's appointment as PCC chief.

Sidhu has been at loggerheads with Amarinder Singh ever since he quit the Punjab cabinet as a minister in 2019. He had become more vocal in his views in the last some months.

Last month, four ministers and around two dozen party legislators had raised a banner of revolt against the Punjab chief minister and said that they had no faith in Amarinder Singh's ability to honour unfulfilled promises.

With inputs from PTI

Also See: Amid ongoing rift in Punjab Congress unit, AICC calls for state's legislative party meeting today

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