Sidhu along with the current chief minister, Charanjit Singh Channi, is in the race to be announced as CM candidate
New Delhi: Just as the Congress high command is all set to announce the party's chief ministerial face in Punjab, state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu made a veiled attack at the party's top brass while painting himself as a strong contender for the post.
While addressing his supporters, Mr Sidhu claimed that “people at the top" want a weak chief minister who will dance to their tunes. He added, "If a new Punjab has to be made, it is in the hands of the chief minister. You have to choose the chief minister this time. People at the top want a weak chief minister who can dance to their tunes. Do you want such a chief minister?" The party workers listening to this speech cheered the covert attack on the high command.
Mr Sidhu along with the current chief minister, Charanjit Singh Channi, is in the race to be announced as CM candidate. A survey by way of televoting has been done in which there are three options Mr Channi, Mr Sidhu and joint leadership.
Another internal survey is also being carried out that also favours Mr Channi. Interestingly, campaign committee chief Sunil Jakhar has earlier this week said that after Captain Amarinder Singh quit as CM the MLAs favored him for the top post. Now Mr Jakhar has put his weight behind Mr Channi.
Sources say that the survey results will be in favour of Mr Channi and he will be announced as the CM face as he is more popular. Several leaders on the condition of anonymity have said that the actions of Mr Sidhu are such that he has lost out in the race for the CM once again.
In the last couple of months Mr Sidhu has been blowing hot and cold within the party. He was instrumental in getting himself appointed as the state unit chief, then he engineered the situation in such a fashion that the then chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had to quit. But instead of him Mr Channi, a Dalit, was given the top job. Since then he has been attacking the Channi government on several issues. He also threw a tantrum and resigned from the state unit chief's post though after that a rapprochement took place and he took back the resignation.
Interestingly, both Mr Channi and Mr Sidhu have said that they will abide by the decision of the party over the CM face. But the party fears that another outburst or tantrum by Mr Sidhu so close to the polling date may hamper its prospects.
In a bid to do damage control AICC incharge Harish Choudhary in the evening said that the comments of Mr Sidhu were taken out of context.