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Harish Rawat’s remarks on Navjot Singh Sidhu ‘baffling’: Sunil Jakhar

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Chandigarh: As Punjab’s first-ever dalit Chief Minister, Charanjit Singh Channi is all set to take oath for the office, Congress leader Sunil Jakhar on Monday questioned AICC general secretary Harish Rawat’s reported statement that the upcoming state elections would be fought under the leadership of Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

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Rawat on Sunday called Sidhu “very popular”, “given the state’s present political circumstances”.

Speaking to ANI, Rawat had said, “It (Congress face for upcoming state assembly polls) will be decided by the Congress president, but given the circumstances, elections will be fought with the chief minister’s cabinet under Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, whose chief is Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is very popular.”

He further stated that Congress had yesterday itself unanimously decided to make Charanjit Singh Channi the next chief minister of Punjab.

Jakhar, who is also the former Punjab Congress chief, dubbed Rawat’s statement as “baffling”, saying it is likely to “undermine” the authority of the chief minister.

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“On the swearing-in day of Sh @Charnjit_channi as Chief Minister, Mr Rawats’s statement that ‘elections will be fought under Sidhu’, is baffling. It’s likely to undermine CM’s authority but also negate the very ‘raison d’être’ of his selection for this position,” said Jakhar in a tweet.

Jakhar was one of the frontrunners for the post of new Congress Legislative Party leader after Amarinder Singh was nudged into quitting ostensibly over his “failure” to fulfil the promises made by the party in the 2017 assembly polls.

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However, the Congress finally picked Channi for the post and it was learnt that Sidhu backed it.

Reacting to Jakhar’s tweet, BJP leader Amit Malviya called it as “huge insult” to the Dalit community.

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“This is a huge insult to the entire Dalit community if Charanjit Singh Channi has been made the CM, only to hold the seat for Navjot Singh Sidhu, the chosen Gandhi family loyalist. This completely undermines the Dalit empowerment narrative being peddled by the Congress. Shame,” said Malviya in a tweet.

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