New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: Rahul Gandhi's announcement that Congress will soon declare its chief ministerial face for the Punjab assembly elections 2022 left many surprised as the grand old party has an old policy of not declaring its CM candidate.

On Thursday, Rahul, while addressing a rally in Jalandhar, had said that he has been assured by incumbent Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and state party president Navjot Singh Sidhu that whoever is chosen as the CM face, the other will support him.

"Media people call it the chief ministerial candidate," Rahul had said, adding that the decision will be taken by the Congress top brass after consulting its workers and state leaders.

"Normally, we do not do this but if the Congress party, our workers and Punjab want this, then we will take a decision on the CM face for you," he noted.

So what prompted Congress to leave its old policy of not projecting its CM candidate?

Many believe that the unclarity among party workers forced Congress to leave its aged-old policy. Both Sidhu and Channi have emerged as top faces for Congress following the exist of Captain Amarinder Singh which has left many in the party confused.

Some have also claimed that by doing so, Congress will end the debate on who is the boss in Punjab.

It should be noted that Sidhu, who is projecting himself as Congress' face in Punjab polls, has also asked Rahul to declare the CM face, saying people want clarity on who will implement the agenda and roadmap of Congress.

"Today, people of Punjab ask who will implement this agenda and which person or face will (you) give," Sidhu had said.

"I say you declare anyone you want but bring Punjab out of this confusion," he said, adding that once the confusion is removed, Congress will form the government.

AAP pressure?

Several experts feel that Aam Aadmi Party's decision to declare Bhagwant Singh Mann as its chief ministerial candidate for the forthcoming assembly elections in Punjab also forced Congress to change its strategy.

"Bhagwant Mann is my younger brother. He is a tall leader of the AAP. I had said he should be made the chief minister, but he said people should be asked first. He said the practice of deciding the name of the chief ministerial candidate in a closed-door meeting should be stopped," AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal had announced.

AAP is the second-largest party in the 117-member Punjab legislative assembly. The party has emerged as a potent force in Punjab and is looking to form its own government in the state.

Who will be Congress' CM face for Punjab polls?

Several media reports have claimed that Channi will continue to be Congress' CM face in Punjab. Quoting sources, The Quint has reported that it is "almost confirmed" that Channi will be the face, adding that the annoucement will be made after a "few modalities" are worked out.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma