Chandigarh, Dec 25 IANS | 2 years ago

Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh Wednesday asked state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa to desist from criticise party MPs ahead of the 2014 general elections as it would "demoralise potential candidates".

Taking objection to Bajwa's comment that there was anti-incumbency against some sitting Congress MPs, Amarinder Singh said: "This will not only create unnecessary confusion among the party rank and file but will also demoralise potential candidates."

Bajwa replaced Amarinder Singh as state Congress chief in March. Both leaders have not been in the best of terms in recent months.

Advising the state Congress president to "exercise restraint and not to go public", Amarinder Singh, who is a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee, said: "He should raise these matters with the party high command only.

"Going public over such issues leads to confusion, particularly when he has been quoted saying that there was anti-incumbency against the sitting party MPs."

Amarinder Singh said the incumbency and anti-incumbency yardstick could not be applied in Punjab, which is being ruled by the Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance.

He alleged that the alliance government was not only making the job of Congress MPs difficult but was also creating impediments in their working.

"The state Congress president should hold the Akali-BJP alliance accountable rather than blaming his own party MPs by saying that there was anti-incumbency against them," Amarinder Singh said.

He added that most of the party MPs had done a "great job against all odds".

Amarinder Singh also asked Bajwa to handle issues concerning party leaders "sensibly and sensitively".

He said the media reports about Bajwa announcing Congress candidates for the parliamentary elections were not in line with the party's stand.

Selection of party candidates is the prerogative of party president Sonia Gandhi. The state Congress president can only make recommendations, Amarinder Singh said.

(Posted on 25-12-2013)