The move of Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh and poll strategist Prashant Kishor to “rehabilitate” former Punjab Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar as the head of the state unit’s communication and publicity department has failed to find favour with him.
The move was part of party’s bid to bring all disgruntled party leaders in Punjab on board ahead of next year’s assembly elections. Jakhar, then considered a close confidant of Amarinder, was removed as the CLP leader in November last year and Charanjit Singh Channi was appointed in his place.
Jakhar was then assured by the leadership that he will be “suitably accommodated” in the organisation and will be given a “key role” in the party’s poll management.
Congress sources said poll strategist Prashant Kishor had suggested that Jakhar should be appointed as the campaign committee chairman in place of senior leader Ambika Soni, who is also general secretary in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. It was argued that she will be busy in Uttarakhand, which goes to polls along with Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur in February-March next year. However, the leadership is yet to take a call on the suggestion.
Meanwhile, as a way out, the newly appointed party in-charge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari later suggested that Jakhar be named as head of the communication and publicity wing. The proposal, in principle, has been accepted, a source said.
However, when contacted, Jakhar said he has never demanded any post from the party. “I am already working as party’s spokesman and have to look after my constituency. I cannot afford the luxury of heading the publicity panel,” he told HT. The party is also planning to “adjust” senior spokesperson Manish Tewari in the poll management.