“I would not have taken MLAs on a flight to Goa or some place,” said Singh while recalling the secret emergency meetings of Congress MLAs seeking his removal. “That is not how I operate. I don’t do gimmicks, and the Gandhi siblings know that is not my way.”

He added: “This should not have ended like this. I am hurt.”

Hours before he resigned as the chief minister of Punjab on September 18, Singh said in a letter to Sonia Gandhi that he was “anguished” at the political events of the last five months.

On caste considerations

In a veiled dig at the Congress for choosing a Dalit chief minister, Singh said he always chose people based on their efficiency.

“Our religions teach us that all are equal,” said the Congress leader. “I don’t look at people based on their caste, it’s about their efficiency.”

Channi is the first Dalit leader to be selected as chief minister of the state. He is an MLA from the Chamkaur Sahib constituency and is considered close to Sidhu.

Channi was among the Cabinet ministers who rebelled against Singh. They had complained to the party’s high command that Singh was not fulfilling the Congress’ 2017 Assembly election promises.