I'm not resigning or retiring: Amarinder



Chandigarh: Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Friday said he was "not going to resign or retire" from politics in the wake of his party's defeat in assembly polls.

Amarinder, a former Chief Minister, said "he will resign or retire only after leading the party to a victory."

"I can't leave my party workers and supporters at this stage particularly when they have been victimized and are apprehensive of more victimization in the coming days", he said.

Congress ended up winning only 46 seats, 13 short of the required numbers in the 117-member assembly with Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance storming back to power, creating history as this was the first time that a ruling combine bucked the anti-incumbency. The SAD-BJP alliance got absolute majority winning 68 seats.

Amarinder said "today I make it clear to one and all that I am going to stay and stand by my party workers come what may as they have reposed tremendous faith and confidence in me and I don't want to let them down".

Scotching speculation about his resignation, he said he had owned up the responsibility for the party's defeat in the elections and not resigned and nor did he intend to do so.

"Owning up responsibility does not mean I have resigned", Amarinder said adding "I cannot leave about 50,000 Congress workers who are facing vendetta cases at the mercy of the current government".

The PCC President, who left for New Delhi, said he will be meeting party President Sonia Gandhi in the next few days and brief her about the election outcome and various factors that contributed to the party's defeat.

"I will strictly go according to the directions of the Party President", he said. Amarinder expressed his gratitude to the party workers and voters for their support and assured them that he will continue to stand by them under all circumstances.

PTI