Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi virtually let the cat out of the bag right this moment forward of Rahul Gandhi’s announcement of the Congress Chief Ministerial face, saying “Give me an opportunity, I used to be the Chief Minister for simply 111 days”.
“You’ve seen Captain’s (his predecessor Amarinder Singh’s) rule, Badal’s rule. Give me an opportunity as I dominated only for 111 days… Rahul Gandhi appointed me LoP after which we got here to energy. I’ve no political taint,” he added, citing the Enforcement Directorate’s case towards his nephew, over which he has been targetted by Navjot Sidhu.
Then he promptly backtracked, saying, “We’ve to combat for Punjab no matter who leads the combat”.
In his speech, his key rival for the highest put up candidature, Navjot Singh Sidhu, was additionally something however circumspect. “I used to be within the BJP for 13 years they usually by no means cared… Rahul Gandhi appointed me the state president in fourth yr solely… I can by no means thank sufficient”.
“I’ve already agreed with Rahul Gandhi’s choice… Even if you happen to do not give me decision-making energy, nonetheless I’ll help the subsequent Chief Minister,” he added.
“I search welfare of Punjab,” Mr Sidhu stated, projecting himself as an “ashiq” (lover) of Punjab who doesn’t “search something in return”.
Then got here the rider: “Do not deal with me like a showpiece,” he added.
“Showpiece” has been a recurring motif in Mr Sidhu’s opposition to Mr Channi and his predecessor Amarinder Singh, particularly since his elevation because the chief of the social gathering’s state unit.
The cricketer-turned-politician, who had hoped to succeed Mr Singh to the highest put up, had then turned a relentless critic of the federal government led by Mr Channi, going to the extent of writing to Sonia Gandhi about his tackle authorities’s insurance policies and asking her to present instructions to the federal government.
Mr Gandhi’s announcement got here right this moment because the row escalated, presenting a divided entrance within the social gathering forward of the essential state elections.