Amarinder disregarded events organised by state unit, says Kaypee

Ahead of the change of guard in the Punjab Congress, its incumbent chief and Member of Parliament from Jalandhar Mohinder Singh Kaypee on Tuesday tried to blame the lack of cohesiveness in the party on former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

He said the unified face of the state unit was being hindered by Amarinder Singh's "disregard" for events organised by the state unit.

Talking to The Indian Express, Kaypee said Capt Amarinder had been absent from almost all important events that the state Congress had held under his direction. "Amarinder Singh was missing whenever the state unit held political events. He was always invited. If all top leaders can participate, Amarinder should also follow suit," Kaypee said.

He said senior leaders Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Jagmeet Brar and Partap Bajwa had made sure they attended all party functions.

The state chief said the Congress high command had been apprised about Amarinder's absence through reports regularly sent after every such event in Punjab.

After a good show in the Lok Sabha elections, Amarinder Singh, chairman of the election campaign committee, has been accused of devoting less time during the four byelections.

Mohinder Kaypee reiterated that Amarinder was perhaps not attending the political functions organised by him because he (Kaypee) was a Dalit leader. There has been speculation for some time that Amarinder may replace Kaypee as the next state chief. Amarinder's loyalists term statements by Kaypee as a "propaganda" in light of Amarinder's likely coronation to the coveted post.

Singh has been off the political scene in Punjab after the Parliamentary elections. The former CM will, however, interact with mediapersons on Thursday. Amarinder's detractors, including many senior Punjab leaders, have been trying hard to scuttle any move in anticipation of his elevation. Singh ran away with much of the credit for the party's performance in the general elections, though several top leaders in Punjab maintained that it was the "Rahul-Manmohan Singh magic" that worked wonders for the state congress. Amarinder's elevation will come as a setback for many Congressmen who are at loggerheads with him.

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