Sunil Jakhar among frontrunners to be the next Punjab CM after Amarinder Singh's exit
The name of Sunil Jakhar was doing the rounds as Congress's top choice for the next chief minister of Punjab as Captain Amarinder Singh stepped down from the post on Saturday after facing internal strife for months. The Congress Legislature Party has requested Sonia Gandhi to decide the name for the next CM. Apart from Sunil Jakhar, the name of Pratap Bajwa is also being speculated. Captain Amarinder Singh's bete noire Navojot Sidhu is also eyeing the post.
The speculation over Sunil Jakhar started because of a specific tweet that he posted hours before Captain Amarinder Singh resigned. Praising Rahul Gandhi for adopting ‘Alexandrian solution’ to the 'Punjabi version of Gordian knot', Sunil Jakhar wrote, "Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled Congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis'. The reference in his tweet was that of Alexander the Great slicing a knot in half after struggling to find out how the knot can be opened.
As Amarinder Singh met the governor and resigned, he told media persons that the decision was taken in the morning. Sunil Jakhar's tweet came around noon, indicating that the decision might have already been made.
Sunil Jakhar was the president of the Punjab Congress before the post went to Navjot Singh Sidhu in July this year. When the tussle between Amarinder Singh and Sidhu reached its peak, Jakhar met the district presidents to find a solution to the unending crisis. Even after Sidhu was made the president of the state unit, the crisis did not end and, finally, Amarinder Singh resigned on Saturday. He said the reason behind his resignation was the humiliation he felt, though he will continue to remain in the Congress, as of now.
67-year-old Sunil Jakhar is considered as Congress's first choice as reports claim that now the party wants a Sikh (Sidhu) and non-Sikh combination for Punjab. Jakhar was a Lok Sabha MP between 2017 and 2019 representing Gurdaspur, after Vinod Khanna's death. But at present, he is not an MLA.
As the Sidhu-Captain crisis was going on Sunil Jakhar commended that this internal strife was hampering the "vital process" of taking the state government's "landmark achievements" to people. "Due to lack of coordination in the party, we are unable to take these achievements amongst the public,” Sunil Jakhar said at a gathering at his native village Panjkosi early this month.