After Amarinder Singh quits, who will be next Punjab CM?
After the surprise exit of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, speculations are rife about who will succeed him as the CM of the poll-bound state. The Congress party is reportedly likely to finalize the name of the next CM by Sunday. Notably, Singh's resignation came after a months-long power tussle between him and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. Here are more details.
Who all are in the fray?
With a few months left for the 2022 elections, speculations are rife that the next CM would be from Navjot Singh Sidhu's camp. Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar is the front runner to replace Amarinder Singh, India Today reported, citing sources. However, since Jakhar is not an MLA in the Punjab Assembly, Sidhu might take the top post, the sources said.
Congress wants to project a non-Sikh face: Reports
According to India Today, Jakhar is most likely to be picked as CM since the Congress party wants a non-Sikh face ahead of the Assembly elections. The party reportedly wants a combination of Jat Sikh (Sidhu) as PCC chief, and a Hindu CM.
Ambika Soni, Sukhjinder Randhawa also in the running
Other names doing the rounds as Singh's possible successor include Congress' Rajya Sabha MP Ambika Soni and state ministers Sukhjinder Randhawa. Soni has reportedly declined the offer. Three other names—former PCC chief Pratap Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, and Tript Rajinder Bajwa—were also reportedly in the fray. However, the Congress will not contest the upcoming Punjab polls under the new CM's leadership, sources told Mint.
Legislature party empowered Sonia Gandhi to pick new CM
The Congress Legislative Party (CLP) unanimously passed a resolution on Saturday to give party President Sonia Gandhi the power to nominate the new CM of Punjab. The CLP meeting also passed a resolution in appreciation of Captain Amarinder Singh-led government's role in the development of Punjab. "We've sent two resolutions to the party high command...We're waiting for...high command's...decision," Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat said.
What led to Singh's exit?
Reports claimed Singh's growing unpopularity and failure to fulfill poll promises are the key reasons for his exit. However, Singh said he resigned because he felt "humiliated" by Punjab Congress' leadership for doubting his capabilities to run the government. According to India Ahead, the countdown for Singh's exit began after political strategist Prashant Kishore submitted three surveys to the Gandhis, highlighting Singh's growing unpopularity.