amarinder singh: Not interested in Congress chief job, Rahul ‘has it in him’ to lead it: Amarinder Singh

CHANDIGARH: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday made it clear that he was not interested in leaving Punjab for national politics and batted for Rahul Gandhi to lead the Congress party and revive its glory.

Speaking at a conclave to mark the third anniversary of his government, the chief minister said the choice of the next leadership rested with the Congress Working Committee and everyone wanted the 130-year-old party to revive and regain its lost glory and ground.

“Rahul Gandhi definitely has it in him to steer the party as its leader, though at the moment he seems to be insistent about not taking over the party reins,” said Amarinder.

Underscoring the need for a new leadership to emerge, Singh said it was not fair to further push Sonia Gandhi, who had been keeping unwell.

“Having worked closely with Sonia for several years, I found her to be a good leader who believes in the modern concept of management and giving a person a job and backing him/her to the hilt, and continue the backing if the job is well done or else push him/her out,” said the chief minister.

With 70 per cent of India’s population comprising the youth, the need for younger leadership could not be ignored and Rahul was equipped to take up the role, he said.

“The victory and defeat was part of politics and Rahul should not allow one defeat (2019 LS polls) to hold him back,” he said

“I lost my first two elections, but if I had gone and sat at home I would not be where I am today,� he said.

Even as he described Priyanka Gandhi as a “perceptive and determined young lady, with the qualities of both her mother and grandmother”, Singh said both Rahul and Priyanka were tough but always very polite.

On the possibility of him being asked to take over as the new Congress president, Amarinder said he did not want to leave Punjab and he found working for people in his state more attractive.

He had been the Member of Parliament twice but did not like it, he said, adding that people in states are more affected by local policies and do not really care for the national policies.

The chief minister found Madhya Pradesh developments a case of “aaya ram gaya ram” and said it was obvious that money was involved in the whole episode.

“But this is not the way for the Indian democracy to function” he said, terming poaching of people’s representative a “reprehensible way” of ousting a duly elected government.

“Such a thing weakens the democratic system,” he added.

On Navjot Singh Sidhu, the chief minister said he had no idea as to what is there on his mind.

At the moment, the former minister is definitely a part of the Congress and he had no problem working with him, he said.

Terming Sidhu a “likeable person whom he had known since the former was a child”, Singh termed said his decision to launch a YouTube channel is his own affair.

“There are so many channels in Punjab and if Sidhu feels this is going to help in the long run, let him do it,” said Amarinder Singh.

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