After two advisors to Punjab party chairman Navjot Singh Sidhu ignited a storm with their comments on Jammu and Kashmir, senior Congress politician Harish Rawat stated on Wednesday that the party may “remove” them if necessary.
Malvinder Singh Mali said that “Kashmir is a country of Kashmiri people,” while Pyare Lal Garg, another advisor, slammed the CM for criticising Pakistan, claiming it was not in Punjab’s best interests. Amarinder Singh had previously requested Sidhu to “rein in” his advisers, describing their comments as “atrocious” and “ill-conceived.”
Rawat stated on Wednesday in a television appearance that the Congress has always maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is a “integral part of India,” and that such remarks from leaders do not reflect the party’s position.
Rawat added that Congress has not designated Sidhu’s advisors and that such comments are “unacceptable.” “We cannot accept those who are an embarrassment for the party for those who appointed them, if need be I will issue directions to remove them,” Rawat said.
Despite calls for Amarinder Singh’s dismissal, Rawat has stated that the Punjab assembly elections in 2022 will take place under his leadership. The statement came after four party ministers and three MLAs met with the former Uttarakhand chief minister in Dehradun.
Following the meeting, Rawat stated that there is “no danger to the party or the government,” adding that the ministers and MLAs just expressed their dissatisfaction with the PUnjab government’s functioning and that they did not have a problem with anyone. “The MLAs have said that they have full confidence in the party and the high command. I will speak to the people concerned about their grievances and, if needed, to the party high command.” He also added: “We should work together for the party. If there is already some damage done, we will try to find solution to it.”
Amarinder Singh had personally welcomed Congress president Navjot Sidhu, Rawat said earlier in the day, and the decision on Sidhu’s promotion was not made without the agreement of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. “Captain had welcomed high command’s decision. I will try to solve the matter. In case I am unable, I will bring it to the notice of Congress leadership in Delhi,” the AICC in-charge stated.
Rawat went on to say that he had no clue what complications would arise when the modifications in PCC were being implemented. “We’ll find a solution. Everyone trusts Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. We’ll look into the matter and try to resolve it,” he stated.
The conflict between the two leaders heated up on Tuesday, with four cabinet ministers and numerous party legislators openly advocating for the CM’s dismissal, claiming he had failed to keep major election promises.
A group of Punjab ministers and MLAs loyal to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh targeted Sidhu as well, demanding strong action against his two advisors for their “patently anti-national and pro-Pakistan comments,” warning that it could cause massive damage to the Congress in the run-up to the Punjab Assembly elections, which are due in less than six months.