Chandigarh: Reacting sharply to Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu’s suggestion on bringing AAP leader Bhagwant Mann into the Punjab Congress, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday urged all party leaders to refrain from making such public statements.

It was the prerogative of the party high command to take any decision on the induction of leaders from other parties into the Congress fold, said the Chief Minister, adding that no party MP, MLA or other leaders should come out with public statements in this regard.

If they have any opinion on any such matter, they should share their suggestions in party forums, said Captain Amarinder Singh, adding that the party platform was the right place for discussing opinions related to party issues.

Expressing surprise at Bittu’s reported media statement that AAP’s Sangrur MP Mann should be inducted into the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Captain Amarinder Singh said the Ludhiana MP should have come with his views either to the party general secretary or the PPCC president or to him (the Chief Minister).

As a democratic organisation, the Congress could have discussed Bittu’s opinion internally, with the final decision resting on the high command, said the Chief Minister, adding that, as per the party rules, special permission of the Congress president was required for the induction of members of Parliament into the party.

Bittu was a senior Congress leader and well aware of the systems and processes that need to be followed in such cases, said Captain Amarinder Singh, adding that using a public forum to air views on party related matters was against the Constitutional ethos of the party.

The media was not the proper forum to raise or discuss internal party matters, said the Chief Minister, exhorting all Congress leaders to follow a disciplined approach on such issues.  Captain Amarinder Singh further said that such statements could fuel speculation which could be detrimental to the Congress party’s interest in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.