CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday said Amarinder Singh's resignation as Punjab chief minister is an admission by the Congress that it failed to perform in the state and has nothing to show for its tenure of over four-and-a-half years.
A mere change of guard, however, will not save the Congress' sinking ship in Punjab, he said.
Declaring that he felt humiliated, Singh, a Congress veteran, on Saturday resigned as chief minister of Punjab, capping a months-long power tussle between him and Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was recently made state party president much against the senior leader's wishes.
Over 50 Congress MLAs had written to party president Sonia Gandhi seeking that Singh be replaced as chief minister.
In a statement, Badal said Singh's resignation is an admission by the Congress that it failed to perform in Punjab and has nothing to show for its tenure of over four-and-a-half years.
"The Congress party cannot hope to save its incompetent government and befool Punjabis with a mere change of face," he said.
The Congress high command's ploy to avert a backlash against the party by putting the blame on one person will not succeed, he added.
The Akali chief alleged that the entire state cabinet and Congress MLAs were steeped in corruption.
"Punjabis know that the entire Congress party in Punjab is known for open loot and lawlessness.
Its ministers and MLAs patronised gangsters.
Its ministers looted the state exchequer of thousands of crores (of rupees).
It failed to undertake any development or infrastructure projects in the state," he said.
Badal said the Gandhi family cannot escape responsibility for making Punjabis suffer for more than four-and-a-half years.
"First of all, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were the force behind the election manifesto of the Congress party for the 2017 assembly elections.
The Gandhi family not only kept Amarinder Singh in power but also failed to move against any of his corrupt ministers.
It also failed to prevail upon Capt Amarinder to fulfil the promises made to the people.
"Amarinder's failure is the failure of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi," he said.
"The Congress party has played its endgame in Punjab," he said.
Hours after Singh's resignation, Punjab Congress MLAs authorised Sonia Gandhi to pick the new Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader.
A resolution to this effect was passed unanimously in a meeting of the CLP here.