As the INC struggles to keep its flock together and Punjab Congress Committee chief Navjot Singh Sidhu pushes for the announcement of a name for the party’s candidate for Punjab chief minister, election campaign committee chief Sunil Jakhar has made it clear that the party high command would not announce its chief ministerial candidate before the election.
Jakhar said the high command’s declaration of Captain Amarinder Singh as its chief minister candidate in the run-up to the 2017 polls was an exception. “This time, the high command has decided that the Punjab election will be fought under its collective leadership, whether someone likes it or not,” Jakhar said, adding that only elected legislators would choose their leader.
After the All India Congress Committee screening committee meeting in Delhi yesterday, Jakhar said the final list of candidates would be released by the central election committee headed by AICC president Sonia Gandhi.
Despite Jakhar’s assertion, Sidhu reiterated on 29 December that the people of Punjab wanted to know “who will take them out of the kichad (swamp) and how? People also want to know about the roadmap,” he told a television channel. He said that during the 2017 polls he himself used to ask Aam Aadmi Party “where the groom of their marriage procession was? So naturally the people will ask me the same question this time”.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi appealed to people indirectly at a public gathering in Patiala district to give him a chance to become chief minister again. “The AAP has said that you have seen Akalis and the Congress; so give us a chance. I say that you have seen Captain (Amarinder Singh) and (Parkash Singh) Badal also. If you are satisfied with my work in these two months, give me a chance again,” Channi said.