They claimed "it was so close that it could have
swung either way." Referring to Union Minister Ashwani Kumar's (without naming him) call for new leadership in PCC, the candidates termed him as a "rootless-wonder" who had left Punjab decades ago. The only time he had contested the parliamentary election, he could not poll even ten thousand votes, they added. Appealing to the party high command to strictly enforce discipline and rein in those elements who were raising the issue in public, they said there was no guarantee that they were not doing it at the behest of the Akalis. After the Congress defeat at the hands of SAD-BJP combine in the recent assembly polls, voices of dicontent against Amarinder's leadership were raised at several platforms by certain party leaders, including Bhattal and Ashwani Kumar. A section of Congress leaders raised the pitch for removal of Amarinder as the party lost two consecutive polls - last Lok Sabha in 2009 and assembly elections this year under his leadership.