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Sunil Jakhar's resignation as Punjab Congress chief ‘totally unnecessary': Amarinder Singh

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Chandigarh, May 27: Asserting that Congress performance in Punjab was impressive, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has termed Sunil Jakhar's resignation from the post of Punjab Congress chief as totally unnecessary.

After losing the Gurdaspur seat to BJP's Sunny Deol, Sunil Jakhar has sent his resignation as Punjab Congress chief to party president Rahul Gandhi.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh

"He sent his resignation to Rahul ji a day after the results were declared," an aide of Jakhar said Monday.

In the letter, Jakhar mentioned that despite the support of party's senior leadership, including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Amarinder Singh, he could not retain the seat.

The ruling Congress in Punjab won eight out of 13 parliamentary seats in the state, bucking the pro-Modi trend. Jakhar had won the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat in the by-polls in October 2017. It had fallen vacant after the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna. The Congress leader had then defeated BJP's Swaran Salaria by a margin of over 1.93 lakh votes.

However, Jakhar lost the seat this time to actor-turned-politician Deol by a margin of 82,459 votes. Five years ago, Jakhar, who was then Punjab Congress Legislature Party leader, had submitted his resignation from the post after losing the Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat. However, his resignation was rejected by then party president Sonia Gandhi.

Chief minister Amarinder Singh felt was that Jakhar's resignation was "totally unnecessary". Amarinder Singh said the Punjab Congress chief had had not discussed the issue with him before deciding to quit.

[Days after his defeat, Punjab Cong chief Sunil Jakhar resigns]

"Had he discussed the matter with me I would have categorically advised him against quitting as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president," said Amarinder Singh, in a statement issued here on Monday.

The chief minister said there was absolutely no reason for Jakhar to quit on the ground he did. "Other state Congress presidents had quit taking responsibility for the poor performance of the party in their respective states," he said, contrasting their case with that of Jakhar, under whose leadership the Punjab Congress had defied all electoral trends at the national level and that of the majority of the states.

Amarinder Singh hoped the party high command would reject Jakhar's resignation, "which was clearly the result of an emotional reaction". "While Jakhar's spirit in serving his resignation could be respected, putting aside a hardworking and committed leader like him would send the wrong message down the rank and file of the Punjab Congress," he added.

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