Congress top leader Rahul Gandhi, as promised earlier, is expected to announce the chief ministerial candidate of his party on February 6, Saturday, days ahead of Punjab goes to elect its new assembly. Channi, a Dalit leader, is currently the CM of Punjab, after Captain Amarinder Singh was removed from the post last year.
In fact, there should have been no controversy over the issue as Channi is the incumbent CM and is naturally expected to continue even after the polls, if the party secures majority. However, Pradesh Congress Committee president and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu has made it an issue and urged Rahul to openly announce who will be the CM face of Congress.
Siddhu whose ambition to become the CM of Punjab are no secret is keen on being named as the CM face of Congress so that there won’t be any problem after the results are announced on March 10. He thinks that his charisma would work wonders and bring Congress to power in Punjab. Siddhu openly fought with Captain Amarinder Singh for the last few years for the sake of CM post.
When Captain not only resigned from the CM post but also quit Congress to launch his own Punjab Lok Congress and join hands with BJP, Congress was forced to take a stand that it was not playing into the hands of Sidhu, who belongs to Jat Sikh by community like Captain. So, Congress chose Channi, a Dalit leader as Dalits constitute 29 per cent of Punjab population.
Now again came up the question of who will be the CM face of Congress? Rahul Gandhi announced that he would collect the views of his party workers in Punjab and take a stand on this. According to sources, he will be making it clear that Channi will continue to be the CM if his party wins the polls. We need to see how Sidhu will react to it, will he go with the party line or rebel against.
In announcing a CM candidate, Congress also followed AAP which projected its MP Bhagawat Singh Mann as the CM candidate through a telephonic opinion poll of voters last month.