Chandigarh: The Congress is likely to declare its chief ministerial candidate for Punjab on February 6, days before the assembly election in the state, media reports said. This will put an end to the suspense whether the current incumbent Charanjit Singh Channi or state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu will be the face of the Grand Old Party.
According to news reports, Rahul Gandhi is likely to make the big declaration during his visit to the poll-bound state on February 6. During his recent visit to Punjab on January 27, Gandhi had confirmed that the party will fight the elections with a CM face and a decision would be taken soon after consulting party workers. He had even said that both the leaders had assured him that whosoever is chosen as the chief ministerial candidate, the other will support him.
Rahul Gandhi made the statement after Sidhu at the rally demanded that the party declare the CM face for the polls and said he doesn’t want to be a “showpiece”.
Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has already started consultations with party leaders and workers. The party is seeking responses from Congress leaders and workers through its Shakti app. The party has also sought the opinion of common people on the issue.
Over the past several weeks, both Channi and Sidhu have indirectly or directly tried to project themselves as the chief ministerial candidates.
The Congress appears to be putting its weight behind Channi, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community and has been fielded from two assembly seats of Chamkaur Sahib and Bhadaur.
The SCs and Scheduled Tribes (STs) have been a traditional vote bank of the Congress, but they drifted away from the party following the emergence of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and some other small groups.
The Congress is now seeking to consolidate the SC vote bank, which comprises almost one-third of Punjab’s population, by choosing Channi.