Terming as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar's resignation as unnecessary, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's office, on Monday, has released a press statement lauding the party's impressive performance in the state.
“Had he discussed the matter with me I would have categorically advised him against quitting as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president,” read the statement.
Comparing the party's performance in other states and Punjab, the Punjab Chief Minister has credited Jakhar's leadership which resulted in Congress grabbing 8 out of 13 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.
"Other state Congress presidents had quit taking responsibility for the poor performance of the party in their respective states. Under Jakhar's leadership the Punjab Congress had defied all electoral trends" read the statement.
While Jakhar has cited his own defeat in Gurdaspur to BJP's debutant politician Sunny Deol by 82459 votes as the reason for his resignation, Singh has staunchly stood by Jakhar blaming the electorate who opted for star power instead of an experienced politician.
"The people of Gurdaspur opted for star adulation against a seasoned politician who had worked hard for the development of the constituency in the past about 18 months, which did not at all reflect on Jakhar’s ability or capability", said Capt. Singh in the statement.
Claiming that the polity in India was yet to evolve, Singh added that people would eventually value work over star power while electing their representatives.
"The defeat of Jakhar at the hands of Bollywood star Sunny Deol was unfortunate and simply showed that polity in the country is yet to evolve," he said in the statement adding that he hoped that people would eventually learn to take these critical decisions based on the quality of the candidate and not on account of his/her star value.
Hoping that the high command would not accept Jakhar's resignation which was clearly the result of an emotional reaction, he added that setting such a leader aside would send the wrong message.
"While Jakhar’s spirit in serving his resignation could be respected, putting aside a hardworking and committed leader like him would send the wrong message down the rank and file of the Punjab Congress" read the statement.
While Congress managed to pass the halfway mark in Punjab and Kerala with 8 and 15 seats each, it has not even been able to open its account in 17 states and union territories in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.