Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh resigns before CLP meeting

Addresses press outside Punjab Raj Bhawan

Aditi Tandon & Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi/Chandigarh, September 18

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh resigned ahead of the crucial Congress Legislature Party meeting in Chandigarh on Saturday evening.

The CM addressed the press outside the Punjab Raj Bhawan.

Sources said the decision was taken at a meeting of MLAs close to him at his official residence in Chandigarh after 2 pm.

Meanwhile, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar has also tendered his resignation.

Earlier, hectic political activity was witnessed in the Punjab Congress hours before AICC-appointed observers Harish Chaudhary and Ajay Maken and Punjab Affairs incharge Harish Rawat arrived in Chandigarh to hold a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party.

The agenda of the CLP meeting was to choose the new CLP leader in place of Amarinder. The MLAs approved resolution authorising party president Sonia Gandhi to elect the new leader.

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The names doing the rounds are those of Sunil Jakhar and Partap Bajwa with Jakhar being the frontrunner.

Meanwhile, the Punjab ministers and MLAs who attended the CM’s meeting at his residence were ministers Brahm Mohindra, Rana Sodhi, Vijayinder Singla and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Khadoor Saheb MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki, Baba Bakala MLA SS Bhlaipur, Raj Kumar Chabbewal, MLA Fateh Jung Bajwa, MLA Tarsem DC, Yoginder Pal, Rakesh Pandey, Ajaib Singh Bhatti, HS Ajnala and Rajinder Singh.

Race hots for the post of CM

With Capt Amarinder Singh tendering his resignation as CM, Sukhjinder Randahwa, a Jat face, and Charanjit Channi, a Dalit face, are also said to be in the race for the post of CM.

Both leaders played a crucial role in the ouster of Amarinder.

Party circles are debating whether a Hindu face or a Sikh face would be ideal as the CM in the run-up to the elections.

In the recast of the cabinet, the party apart from bringing new faces would bring two deputy CMs to balance the caste factor. Being a Sikh-dominated state, it is being argued that a Sikh face should be the CM, though Sunil Jakhar is said to be the frontrunner and a consensus candidate.

Navjot Sidhu, Kuljit Nagra and Pargat Singh receive Ajay Maken, Harish Chaudhary and Harish Rawat at the Chandigarh airport.

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