Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Thursday came out in strong defence of Kamal Nath, who resigned as general secretary in-charge of poll-bound Punjab, and said he respected his decision but it was sad that this row was raked up by rivals out to harm Congress party.
Kamal Nath was appointed as General Secretary and given charge of both Punjab and Haryana, but he resigned on Wednesday night as in charge of Punjab, in the wake of rival parties targeting him on the issue of riots.
Mr Singh, who is also the party’s face in Punjab in the run up to polls early next year, said Mr Nath had done a gracious thing by his resignation but maintained that had he continued also “there would not have been any difference“.
“Kamal Nath has taken his own decision. He felt hurt that his name was being dragged. For his prestige as his image was being tarnished, he decided to resign.
“I think he would have been an excellent general secretary as he has a lot of experience and is very decisive. It is a great shame for us that this issue has been raised by people only to harm the Congress party (by keeping Nath out),” he told reporters. He said Mr Nath did not want to be dragged into the controversy as he is innocent and his name has never cropped up in the many decades.
The PCC chief said Mr Nath also told him that if this row affected the party in the coming polls in Punjab, he would opt out and was sending his resignation to the Congress president.
“I thanked him saying this is a very gracious thing that he has done by doing this. He would have made a very good general secretary for us, but these people are pointing fingers at anyone as they are desperate,” he said.
Asked if this would have affected the party’s prospects at the hustings, he said, “Nothing”. “Even if Kamal Nath would have been there as in-charge, there would have been nothing on the party. There would have been nothing. Things have changed,” he said.
On M. S. Gill, he said “where was he when the riots took place. He is just talking nonsense...I am very sad, that a man who has been chief election commissioner, he should not have said like that. He is not doing justice, you are just doing your own politics.”
Asked if Sheila Dikshit would replace Mr Nath, he said, Congress party is in a very good position and whoever comes it would be good for the party.
The Punjab PCC chief also attacked Home Minister Rajnath Singh for having no time for Punjab’s deteriorating law and order situation and accused BJP of being hand-in-glove with its ally Akali Dal.