“The AICC has received a representation from a large number of MLAs from the Congress party, requesting to immediately convene a meeting of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) of Punjab. Accordingly, a meeting of the CLP has been convened at 5 PM on September 18 at Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee office," said All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat on Friday night.
“AICC directs the PPCC to facilitate this meeting. All congress MLAs of Punjab are requested to kindly attend this meeting," he added, tagging Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu in his tweet.
Sidhu also took to Twitter on Friday night and said, “As per the AICC directive, Congress Legislative Party meeting has been convened at @INCPunjab PPCC Office, Chandigarh on 18 September 2021 (Saturday) 5 PM."
Speculations regarding CLP meeting
The move to call the meeting after bypassing the chief minister has raised speculations in party circles about the fate of Singh. The Congress has 80 MLAs in the 117-member state assembly.
The development comes as several legislators and some ministers close to Sidhu have been seeking a meeting of the legislature party.
Congress leaders Harish Chaudhary and Ajay Maken are likely to be the party's observers at the CLP meeting.
Party MLAs on Saturday said they were unaware of the agenda of the CLP meeting.
There were reports that a section of Congress MLAs had written to the party leadership to convene a CLP meeting to discuss the poll strategy and progress on the 18-point agenda which includes action on the 2015 desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and the police firing on protesters and arrest of the “big fish" in drug rackets.
Last month, four ministers and around two dozen party legislators had raised a banner of revolt against the Punjab CM and had said they had no faith in Amarinder Singh's ability to honour unfulfilled promises.
Four ministers -- Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Charanjit Singh Channi -- had raised the demand for replacing the CM.
Meanwhile, Sidhu's principal strategic advisor and former IPS officer Mohd Mustafa said it is time to have a “Congress CM" after a “long agonising wait".
Amarinder Singh's ultimatum
Meanwhile, the Punjab CM is learnt to have expressed his concerns to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and said that he "can't continue in the party with this kind of humiliation".
He said reportedly also told his close aides that he might step down if sidelined in party in the face of the repeated humiliation.
With inputs from agencies.
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