Congress committee proposes Sukhjinder Randhawa's name for Punjab CM
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has reportedly proposed the name of Sukhjinder Randhawa for the position of Punjab Chief Minister after the surprise exit of Captain Amarinder Singh. The final decision rests with the party's high command. Singh had resigned from the post on Saturday after a months-long power tussle between him and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Aruna Chaudhary, Bharat Bhushan Ashu to be Deputy CMs
Randhawa has been nominated by the Congress committee as the Punjab CM, multiple reports said. Reportedly, the final decision by the Congress high command is expected soon. Further, the sources said that Aruna Chaudhary and Bharat Bhushan Ashu will be the next Deputy CMs with Chaudhary representing the Dalit community. A meeting is ongoing at Rahul Gandhi's residence with Ambika Soni, ANI reported.
Who is Sukhjinder Randhawa?
Randhawa, 62, is the Jails and Co-operation Minister in the outgoing Punjab Cabinet. A three-time MLA, he represents the Gurdaspur district. Previously, he was elected twice from the Dera Baba Nanak seat in 2012 and 2017. In the past, he has also served as the Punjab Congress Vice President. His father, Santokh Singh, incidentally was a two-time President.
Always treated Singh like my father: Randhawa
ANI had earlier quoted Randhawa as saying, "Captain (Amarinder Singh) saab is our senior... have always treated him like my father (and) he has treated me like his son... brother. There have been differences but he has never reacted negatively against me..."
Today's CLP meet postponed after Ambika Soni refused CM post
Earlier in the day, the Congress Legislature Party's (CLP) meeting was postponed after Rajya Sabha MP Ambika Soni refused an offer to take over as the Punjab CM. Soni reportedly declined the offer at a late-night meeting with former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, saying that she must "follow (her) inner voice" and only a Sikh should be made the head of the state.
Why did Amarinder Singh resign?
Singh had resigned Saturday in what is viewed as the culmination of a long-drawn feud between him and Sidhu. On Friday, at a meeting of Congress MLAs, 50 of 80 legislators wrote to party chief Sonia Gandhi, asking her to replace Singh. Singh said he had been "humiliated three times by Congress leadership" and defended his administration's track record.