Congress in Punjab takes a leaf out of AAP book; But will it trigger a fresh row?

Congress in Punjab leaves CM candidate choice to voters, but with just 3 choices. And, Sunil Jakhar isn’t happy.

The election dates are just round the corner, and the five states going to the polls this month have been seeing much action. While most of the political parties are banking on maximum support from the part of the voters, they aren’t fully sure if they would be able to post landslide wins in these states. The political situation is much different from what it had been five years ago, and so they know they need to do much better if they are to win.

In a majority of states, workers of different parties have been clamouring to see the leaderships announce the name of the Chief Minster candidates. They feel that chances would grow manifold if a Chief Minister candidate’s name is announced.

The Aam Aadmi Party had, in fact, done this already in Punjab. And now, the Congress seems to be taking a leaf out of the AAP book to try the same, of course with its own alterations.

The Congress party high command is now looking to gauge the people’s opinion so that it can zero in on a chief ministerial candidate in Punjab. The voters can let the party know of their choice through IVR calls.

Channi, Sidhu only leaders among probables

The party has listed down three options, and the list has Charanjit Singh Channi at number one position, and Navjot Sidhu at number two. The third option seeks the opinion of the voters on whether the party should go without a CM face.

Significantly, the names like Sunil Jakhar, Sukhjinder Randhawa, and others who were seen as probable candidates have been omitted. This has given rise to internal squabbles already.

It needs to be noted that senior leader Sunil Jakhar has said that last year, post-exit of Amarinder Singh from the Congress party, the names of Channi and Sidhu were least favoured for the Chief Minister’s post. Now with the party naming Channi and Sidhu as the only options, leaders like Jakhar and others are obviously irked.

Sunil Jakhar isn’t amused

Adding to the confusion is an earlier video that has Sunil Jakhar speaking is now making waves. The video has Jakhar saying that the high command had asked all the MLAs to suggest the next chief minister after Amarinder Singh’s exit. And, he goes on to add that he himself was favoured by 42 MLAs, while Sukhjinder Randhawa was preferred by 16 MLAs, and Praneet Kaur had the support of 12 MLAs. In the meantime, Channi got support from just two and Sidhu was favoured by six MLAs.

Jakhar is, of course, not happy with the high command’s decision to list only Sidhu and Channi as the probable chief minister candidates. Whether this issue will blow over is anybody’s guess. The Congress high command has a tough situation in its hands, indeed.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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