Sunil Jakhar quits Congress, offers praise (and warning) for Rahul Gandhi

Sunil Jakhar on Facebook Live ripped into Congress leaders 'sitting in Delhi (who have) ruined the party in Punjab'.
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar (HT File Photo)(HT_PRINT)
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar (HT File Photo)(HT_PRINT)
Updated on May 14, 2022 03:38 PM IST
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By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan

Ex Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar - who announced his resignation from the party Saturday in a Facebook Live post - reserved a few words of praise for senior leader Rahul Gandhi, whom he called 'a good person'. Jakhar - removed from posts last month over 'anti-party activities' - called on Gandhi to retake control and warned him to 'distance yourself from sycophants'. "Good luck and goodbye, Congress…" Jakhar said as he wound up his outburst.

Jakhar's bombshell announcement comes as the Congress enters the second day of its Chintan Shivir meet in Rajasthan - a three-day meeting of senior leaders to review the party's disastrous results in five state elections held in February-March and plot a course for recovery ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

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His comments today underlined how much work the Congress must do to put its house in order and emerge as a serious challenger to the BJP - both in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls due later this year and next year's general election.

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On his Facebook Live post the 68-year-old ripped into Congress leaders 'sitting in Delhi (who have) ruined the party in Punjab'.

That swipe was for the party's defeat to the Aam Aadmi Party in the February election; the Congress was ousted from power in Punjab (one of the very few states it ruled outright) after serial infighting that began with then chief minister Amarinder Singh and ex state chief Navjot Sidhu sparring - publicly, bitterly - and spilled over into an exchange of swipes with CM Charanjit Channi.

Jakhar also blamed Rajya Sabha MP Ambika Soni and her comment on 'repercussions of having a Hindu chief minister in Punjab' for the party's poor showing in state polls. Soni, in September, had turned down an offer to replace Amarinder Singh, saying "…for Punjab there has to be a Sikh face".

That was over speculation Jakhar was not considered as chief minister because he is a Hindu; then too he had blamed 'senior advisers sitting in Delhi'.

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Jakhar earlier also blamed Channi for the Congress's poor performance - comments that invited a show-cause notice from the party. He never replied to the notice, which also spoke about alleged 'derogatory' remarks against Channi.

Jakhar had called Channi a ‘liability whose greed pulled the party down'.

Punjab polls results: Channi proved a liability, not an asset, says Jakhar

The AAP swept the polls winning 92 of 117 assembly seats, pushing the Congress to a distant runner-up position with only 18 seats.

Meanwhile, during his rant on Facebook, Jakhar also slammed Harish Chaudhary, former state in-charge Harish Rawat and Tariq Anwar.



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Tuesday, May 17, 2022