Baffling to hear Punjab Assembly poll will be contested under Sidhu, says Sunil Jakhar

The former State Congress chief said the move would undermine the Chief Minister’s authority.

The turmoil in the Punjab Congress seems to be far from over as party’s former State president Sunil Jakhar on Monday raised doubts about facing the upcoming Assembly election under the leadership of Navjot Singh Sidhu instead of Chief Minister-designate Charanjit Singh Channi.

Hours before the swearing-in ceremony of the Congress’s newly elected legislature leader Mr. Channi as the next Chief Minister, Mr. Jakhar said it was ‘baffling’ to hear that the Assembly election would be contested under State party chief Mr. Sidhu instead of the new Chief Minister, which he said undermined Chief Minister’s authority.

Taking to Twitter Mr. Jakhar said, “On the swearing-in day of Sh @Charnjit_channi as Chief Minister, Mr. Rawats’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.”

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Sunday announced Mr. Channi as the leader of Punjab Congress Legislature Party (CLP), who will take oath as Chief Minister on Monday.

On Sunday, AICC-appointed observers Harish Chaudhary and Ajay Maken and Punjab affairs incharge Harish Rawat held hectic meetings in Chandigarh with party leaders and collected feedback from MLAs ahead of the short-listing the name of Mr. Channi as the CLP leader.

Interestingly, during the meeting, Mr. Jakhar and senior Congress leader Sukhjinder Randhawa were the front runners for the Chief Minister’s post, but eventually Mr. Channi was selected. When the meeting was under way, there was a strong buzz that Mr. Jakhar’s name had been finalised for the post.

In fact, before the final decision was announced, Mr. Jakhar on Sunday morning had tweeted saying “Kudos to [email protected] for adopting Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of Gordian knot. Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled Congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis.”

Mr. Jakhar’s tweet was being seen in the backdrop of his name being finalised for the post of CLP leader and the next Chief Minister.

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