Chandigarh: The task of finding Captain Amarinder Singh’s successor will be trickier than some thought it would be.
Former Team India cricketer Navjyot Singh Sidhu, who was appointed Punjab Congress chief recently, had aspired to grace the ‘hot seat’. But that is not a straightforward decision at all, as there were was no unanimity among Congress MLAs at the meeting this evening to accept him as their leader.
That’s precisely why a resolution was passed to have Congress president Sonia Gandhi take that decision.
Sidhu has been at loggerheads with Amarinder for several months and launched a bitter campaign against the latter.
Amarinder was quite vocal against Sidhu on Saturday evening, hours after submitting his resignation to the governor.
“Sidhu will be a total disaster as CM, he is an incompetent leader… not acceptable at all,” Capt. Amarinder said in TV interviews. “He was a minister previously, couldn’t deliver.. how will he govern the entire state?”
Amarinder further said that Sidhu was close with the Pakistan Army chief and PM.
“He is friends with (Pakistan Army chief) Qamar Javed Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan… I will oppose if he is chosen as the next CM,” Amarinder was quoted as saying by ANI.
Though Amarinder had lost support of some MLAs, he still has a decent number of loyalists. Hence, Punjab is clearly divided into two camps.
Sonia may now have to pick a consensus candidate to pacify the Amarinder camp.
That ‘dark horse’ could be Partap Singh Bajwa, a Rajya Sabha MP whose term ends in April 2022.
He had expressed the desire to contest state assembly elections from his home constituency Gurdaspur, after having trained his guns on Captain Amarinder and former Congress state president Sunil Jakhar for months.
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