Thu, 03 Feb 2022 11:08 AM IST
Chandigarh | Jagran News Desk: Amid the buzz over the Congress' Cheif Ministerial candidate for the Punjab Assembly Elections 2022, it is expected that the party will repeat its 2017 strategy and announce the CM face on February 6 when party leader Rahul Gandhi will visit the poll-bound state for campaigning.
According to a report by news agency PTI, quoting party sources, it is likely that Rahul Gandhi will announce the party's CM face for Punjab polls during his visit to the state on Sunday. Earlier during his visit to the poll-bound state on January 27, Rahul Gandhi had assured that Congress will go into the Punjab Assembly Elections with a CM face and a decision on it will be taken soon after consultation with party workers.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has already started consultations with party leaders and workers on the chief ministerial candidate. The party is seeking responses from Congress leaders and workers through its Shakti app. The party has also sought the opinion of common people on the issue and the process has started in the last two days.
The sources said Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit Punjab on Sunday, February 6, and may make the important announcement. Over the past several weeks, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu have, directly or indirectly, made a case for themselves to be declared as the party's chief ministerial candidate.
The Congress appears to be putting its weight behind Channi, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste community and has been fielded from two assembly seats of Chamkaur Sahib and Bhadaur. The SCs and STs have been a traditional vote bank of the Congress, but they drifted away from the party following the emergence of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and some other small groups.
The Congress is now seeking to consolidate the SC vote bank, which comprises almost one-third of Punjab's population, by choosing Channi to replace former chief minister Amarinder Singh.
A three-time MLA from Chamkaur Sahib, Channi is the first Dalit chief minister of Punjab. He is the only party candidate to be fielded from two seats. The Congress has followed the 'one family, one seat' formula in allocating tickets to its candidates in Punjab.
Meanwhile, Senior Punjab Congress leader Sunil Jakhar has claimed that 42 MLAs wanted him to be the chief minister of the state after the unceremonious exit of Amarinder Singh last year. Only two legislators favoured Charanjit Singh Channi, he said. Jakhar is heard saying this in a video, which has surfaced online while addressing a gathering in Abohar on Tuesday.
"Forty-two votes went for Sunil (Jakhar), 16 for Sukhjinder Randhawa, 12 votes for Maharani Preneet Kaur (Amarinder Singh's wife and Patiala MP), six votes for Navjot Singh Sidhu and two votes for (Charanjit Singh) Channi," Jakhar said in the video.
(With Agency Inputs)