Captain Amarinder Singh has cracked the whip against rebels who continue to stand adamant on contesting the assembly polls against the nominated candidates of the party, warning that those who refuse to toe the party line would be expelled from the party for life and would be barred from re-entering the party fold.
Taking a tough stand, Amarinder said while he was committed to accommodating those who withdrew from the fray in support of the party nominees in key positions after the formation of the Congress government post elections, the party would not accept defiance from the rebels.
In a statement issued here, Captain made it clear that party discipline would be maintained, and the interests of the chosen candidates would be protected, at all costs. Those who did not withdraw or retire from the contest, however, would be thrown out of the party and not allowed to ever come back.
Amarinder, along with AICC in-charge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari, has successfully quashed rebellion in most of the 20-odd constituencies where there have been reports of problem on this count. Most of the rebel candidates have, in fact, agreed to withdraw their nominations, which they had filed as independent after being denied the official party ticket. Amarinder Singh has personally spoken to many of the rebels and persuaded them to withdraw in the interest of the party, with the promise that the party would take care of their interests once it comes to power.
However, the Ex-CM made it clear that there was no question of showing laxity towards those who continue to violate party discipline and it had been decided that strict action, including expulsion, would be taken against them if they failed to withdraw their papers before the last date of withdrawal announced by the Election Commission or to retire thereafter.
It was important, he said, to set a precedent so that the party polity and propriety is not violated. Party interests outweigh individual interests and all the candidates who have been allocated tickets have been chosen on the sole criteria of winnability, as well as in strict adherence to the one-family-one-ticket rule, he added, making it clear that party discipline would not be allowed to be compromised.
Expressing his gratitude towards those who had agreed to withdraw from the poll fray, Amarinder said as loyal soldiers of the party it was the duty of all to follow the policies and accept the decisions of the high command.