Punjab parties shy away to name CM face, AAP takes lead

Punjab parties shy away from naming CM face, AAP takes lead

Congress is not just unsure of its CM candidate, the party also apprehends a backlash in case it projects one leader over the other as its chief ministerial face

Amarinder Singh, Arvind Kejriwal, Navjot Singh Sidhu. Credit: PTI Photos

Political outfits in poll-bound Punjab appear shying away from naming their chief ministerial candidate with just four weeks left for the electorate to cast their vote. However, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced his party would select the CM face based on televoting by the public.

The party today broadcasted a mobile number asking people to name their choice of the chief minister. Kejriwal said based on the highest number of votes, the party will decide on the CM face on January 17. MP and Punjab AAP president Bhagwant Mann is being seen as the favourite.  

The ruling Congress is not just unsure of its CM candidate, the party also apprehends a backlash in case it projects one leader over the other as its chief ministerial face.

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Punjab state president Navjot Singh Sidhu has maintained that the party should announce the CM face ahead of elections. He has also said it’s the people and not the party high command that will decide the CM face for the Congress.

Sidhu’s stance on this issue apparently indicates his unwillingness to see incumbent CM Charanjit Singh Channi as the CM after polls if the party manages to retain power.

After the exit of Capt Amarinder Singh from the party, the Congress high command can ill-afford a full-blown dissent among its top leaders with elections just weeks away.

The two new alliance parties, Capt’s greenhorn outfit-Punjab Lok Congress- and the BJP, for now, have no plans to announce a CM face. The two alliance partners are yet to even announce a seat-sharing agreement.

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Punjab’s century-old party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), in all certainly will have a chief ministerial face from the Badal family, the choice arguably limited to the old warhorse Parkash Singh Badal or his son Sukhbir Badal.      

Arvind Kejriwal has categorically ruled himself out as the CM face for Punjab.

Kejriwal announced a number (70748 70748), saying people of Punjab should call or message or WhatsApp to give their choice of CM candidate.

Kejriwal said he had suggested that Mann be the CM face for the party but Bhagwant Mann wanted that the CM face should be chosen by the public and not imposed on them.

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