The Congress party is expected to finalise its next Punjab chief minister by Sunday morning, reported news agency ANIquoting sources, after Captain Amarinder Singh resigned from the post during the day.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) central observers Ajay Maken and Harish Chaudhary are expected to remain in Chandigarh.
As per reports, former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar and cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa are the frontrunners to replace Amarinder Singh. Others in the race include Ambika Soni and Vijay Inder Singla.
However, the party will not contest the upcoming Punjab assembly polls under the new CM’s leadership, as per the source.
Meanwhile, the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) has unanimously passed a resolution to give party president Sonia Gandhi power to nominate the new CM of Punjab.
Addressing media after the CLP meeting, Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat said the party has sent two resolutions to the high command which were passed in the Congress Legislative Party meeting.
“We had a tradition of requesting Congress president to elect the Chief Minister. Punjab unit of the party kept the tradition and unanimously passed the resolution asking Sonia Gandhi Ji to chose the new Chief Minister,” said Rawat.
“We’ve sent two resolutions to party high command which were passed in Congress Legislative Party meeting today. We’re waiting for their (party high command) decision,” he added.
The second resolution passed by the CLP praised Amarinder Singh.
Singh met Punjab governor Banwari Lal Purohit on Saturday and submitted his resignation.
“I had informed Congress president Sonia Gandhi this morning that I will be tendering my resignation today. The party seemed to have an element of doubt that I could not run the government. I feel humiliated,” said Singh after resigning.
He added that he had been summoned thrice over the last two months by the central leadership.
Singh said that the party high command can make whoever they have faith in the next CM.
No support for Sidhu
However, later Amarinder Singh said that he will oppose the name of state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s name for the new CM face.
“…Navjot Singh Sidhu is an incompetent man, he is going to be a disaster. I will oppose his name for the next CM face,” said Amarinder Singh.
“He is friends with (Pakistan Army chief) Qamar Javed Bajwa and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, I will oppose if he is chosen as the next CM face,” he was quoted as saying by the news agency.
When the political tussle in Punjab Congress had escalated in August, the party’s central leadership sought to bury the hatchet by appointing Navjot Singh Sidhu as the party chief apparently against the desire of Amarinder Singh.
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