Chandigarh, September 20
A remark by Harish Rawat, AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab, that the forthcoming elections will be fought under the leadership of PCC chief Navjot Sidhu kicked up a political row with former PCC chief Sunil Jakhar, a front-runner to replace Capt Amarinder Singh, calling it “baffling”.
Sidhu to lead campaign
Given circumstances, elections will be fought with CM’s Cabinet under PCC headed by Sidhu. He is very popular. —Harish Rawat, Punjab affairs incharge
Rawat’s statement is baffling. It may undermine CM’s authority and negate the very ‘raison d’être’ of his selection for the post. —Sunil Jakhar, Ex-PCC chief
The AICC had to step in to clarify the elections would be fought “jointly” under Sidhu and CM Charanjit Singh Channi. Defending Sidhu, Rawat had said: “It (party face for upcoming state polls) will be decided by the Congress president, but given the circumstances, elections will be fought with CM’s Cabinet under PCC, whose chief is Navjot Sidhu. He is very popular.” Hours before the oath-taking ceremony of Channi, Jakhar tweeted: “‘Elections to be fought under Sidhu’is baffling.” He wrote: “On the swearing-in day of @Charnjit_channi as CM, Rawat’s statement that ‘elections will be fought under Sidhu’, is baffling. It’s likely to undermine CM’s authority and also negate the very ‘raison d’être’ of his selection for this position.”
Clearing the air, AICC communication department head Randeep Surjewala said: “Our CM is Channi. Our state Congress president is Sidhu… so Sidhu is heading the organisation and Channi is the face of the government. They will fight the elections jointly.” — TNS
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