The Congress high command will decide the chief ministerial candidate of the party for the upcoming Punjab Assembly polls, party’s state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Saturday. His remarks came even as the intra-party jostling for the top post going strong in Punjab Congress.
"Congress takes decisions after analysing the qualities of every leader. I have full faith in the party. There is a party high command to decide CM face. Whatever the party high command will decide, we will accept the decision," Sidhu told news agency ANI.
There has been speculation that Sidhu is eying the chief minister’s post for himself. Earlier this month, he had said that the people of Punjab would choose their chief minister, not the Congress high command. Sidhu’s sharp retort had come in response to reporters’ query on who would be the party’s chief ministerial face in Punjab after the Assembly polls.
“Who told you that the (Congress) high command will make the CM? Who told you? Listen to me. The people of Punjab had elected MLAs five years back. It was the people of Punjab to decide whether they become MLAs or not and the people of Punjab will decide when there is an agenda. Therefore, do not have a false impression in your mind. People of Punjab will elect MLAs and people of Punjab too will make the CM,” Sidhu had asserted.
Charanjit Singh Channi, who is the first dalit chief minister in the state, had a few days ago said that the Congress should declare its chief ministerial candidate and pointed out that it has been seen in the past that doing so has favoured the party to reap electoral gains.
Meanwhile, Nikhil Alva, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, has conducted a poll on his Twitter handle asking who should be the party's face for Punjab CM. He gave options of Charanjit Singh Channi, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sunil Kumar Jakhar while the fourth option is that there is no need for a CM face.
Punjab goes to polls on February 20 and the counting will take place on March 10.