‘Elections in Punjab to be fought under Navjot Sidhu...baffling', Sunil Jakhar on Rawat's statement

Rawat defends PCC chief saying 'he is very popular', BJP says, 'this is a huge insult to the entire Dalit community'

‘Elections in Punjab to be fought under Navjot Sidhu...baffling', Sunil Jakhar on Rawat's statement

Unending crises in Punjab Congress.

Tribune Web Desk

Chandigarh, September 20

The crisis and infighting in the Punjab Congress continues even as Capt Amarinder Singh stepped down from chief ministership and Charanjit Singh Channi took over as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party.

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Sunil Jakhar, who was a frontrunner to replace Capt Amarinder Singh, hours before the swearing-in of Channi, tweeted: “Elections to be fought under Sidhu”, is baffling.”

Editorial: Congress fiasco: Captain’s exit as CM leaves party on sticky wicket in Punjab

He wrote: “On the swearing-in day of Sh @Charnjit_channi as Chief Minister, Mr Rawat’s statement that “elections will be fought under Sidhu”, is baffling. It’s likely to undermine CM’s authority but also negate the very ‘raison d’être’ of his selection for this position.”

Defending Sidhu, Congress leader Harish Rawat speaking to media, said: It (party face for upcoming state polls) will be decided by Congress president, but given the circumstances, elections will be fought with CM's cabinet under Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, whose chief is Navjot Singh Sidhu. He is very popular.”

Reacting to Jakhar’s tweets, the BJP, too, took a dig at Harish Rawat.

BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya said: “This is a huge insult to the entire Dalit community if Charanjit Singh Channi has been made the CM, only to hold the seat for Navjot Singh Sidhu, the chosen Gandhi family loyalist. This completely undermines the Dalit empowerment narrative being peddled by the Congress. Shame.”

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee, said “Entire Dalit leadership of @INCIndia should protest this dictatorial and discriminatory order/statement of @harishrawatcmuk & Gandhi Family. They have insulted the Dalits and CM-stature grossly!”

Former state Congress chief Sunil Kumar Jakhar, who was in the reckoning for chief minister’s post, on Sunday is said to have refused to be appointed as a deputy CM. Former Union minister Ambika Soni held late night meetings with party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at least twice on Sunday and has some role in the appointment of the new Chief Minister. It was her statement in favour of a Sikh chief minister that went against the top choice, Sunil Jakhar.

In July, Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed Punjab Congress chief amid escalating tension where he replaced Jakhar.

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