Chandigarh | Jagran News Desk: The buzz over the Chief Ministerial face of the Congress party for the Punjab Assembly Elections 2022 doesn't seem to settle down any time soon. Despite calls to declare the CM candidate for the upcoming polls, the Congress high command has so far remained tight-lipped and has also dismissed the proposal to declare the CM candidates before polls.

However, the decision of the Congress party has not got down well with Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Now, a day after Sidhu's comments, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi has also echoed him but with a big hint for the Congress party.

In an interview with a local TV channel, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi nudged the Congress party and said that whenever the party has not announced the CM candidate before polls, it has lost the elections.

"Whenever the party has not announced a Chief Minister candidate, it has lost. When the party declared its CM candidate during the 2017 elections, it won. Before that, when it did not declare the candidate, it lost. So the party should announce it," Channi said during the interview to Pro Punjab TV.

When asked whom should the party select for the CM face in Punjab, Channi didn't directly say his name but he talked about his popularity across the state since he took charge as the CM and about people waving at him wherever he went. He said that people even break through security checks and barricades to meet him.

The remarks from two top Congress leaders in the state only increased the problems for the Congress party, which has been battling infighting since Sidhu took charge as the PPCC chief and facing a stiff challenge from the Aam Aadmi Party, BJP-Amarinder Singh's alliance and the Shiromani Akali Dal.

While CM Channi cautiously said the leadership will decide and should declare the CM candidate, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is also eyeing the top post, was less subtle yesterday when he said that the people of the state will decide the chief minister, not the party high command.

"The people of Punjab will make the CM. Who told you that the high command will make the CM? Listen to me. The people of Punjab had elected MLAs five years back. It is the people of Punjab to decide whether they become MLAs. Therefore, do not have a false implication (impression) in your mind. The people of Punjab will elect MLAs and the people of Punjab will make their CM too,” Sidhu said.

The Congress is yet to announce a CM face for the upcoming assembly polls and Charanjit Singh Channi appointed the CM after the ouster of Amarinder Singh, is also being seen as a strong contender if the divided party wins. As the campaign for the assembly polls picks up, Sidhu has at times targeted his own party's government in the state -- just like he did when Amarinder Singh was the chief minister.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan