Race for Punjab CM candidature in Cong heats-up

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Even as Congress is likely to declare its chief ministerial candidate for Punjab on February 6, days before the assembly election in the state, Navjot Singh Sidhu launched a direct attack at his rival Charanjit Singh Channi and said the party must choose someone “honest and with a clean track record”. The statement is significant for its timing which comes hours after CM Channi saw his nephew arrested for corruption.

Navjot Sidhu also stressed that any Chief Minister choice should have the backing of at least 60 MLAs.

“If you choose someone devoid of moral authority, devoid of ethics or someone who is dishonest and part of some corruption and mafia, then people will vote for change and bury you like a mooli,” the Punjab Congress chief told NDTV.

“We need an honest candidate. Your destiny depends on what you choose. It is choice, not chance that determines your destiny. A ‘mafia-type person’ cannot implement your programmes. A person who himself is mafia protector-in-chief, how can he crack down on the mafia?” Mr Sidhu said.

According to PTI, Rahul Gandhi is likely to make the big declaration during his visit to the poll-bound state on Sunday. Last week, during is visit to Punjab, Gandhi had confirmed that the party will fight the elections with a CM face and a decision would be taken after consultation with party workers. He had even said that both the leaders had assured him the chosen candidate will enjoy the support of the other.

The Congress appears to be putting its weight behind Channi, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community.

As the elections draw close, infighting in congress is becoming more evident. Only recently, Punjab Congress leader, Sunil Jakhar, was heard saying in a video that a majority of MLAs had backed him for the top post after the Congress sacked Amarinder Singh in September.

Punjab votes on February 20 and the results will be declared on March 10.

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