Who will be new Punjab Chief Minister? Congress' decision likely by afternoon after CLP meet
Chandigarh, Sep 19: Punjab Congress MLAs have authorised party president Sonia Gandhi to pick a new legislature party leader who will succeed Amarinder Singh as the chief minister of the state.
According to reports, this time the Congress party will appoint a deputy chief minister too. The decisions on new Punjab Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister are likely to be taken on Sunday.
However, the names of four senior Congress leaders - Sunil Jakhar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Partap Singh Bajwa - have been doing the rounds as probable candidates for the post.
Names of senior party leaders Ambika Soni, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Brahm Mohindra, Vijay Inder Singla, Punjab Congress working president Kuljit Singh Nagra and MP Partap Singh Bajwa are also doing the rounds.
Congress sources said the name of the new leader is likely to be announced in a CLP meeting called at 11 am today.
This came after Amarinder Singh resigned as Punjab chief minister, saying he felt "humiliated" at the way the party handled the infighting in the state unit.
After the exit of Amarinder Singh as the Punjab Chief Minister, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi held a meeting late in the night in which party leader Ambika Soni, General Secretary Organisation K.C. Venugopal were present. The meeting ended post midnight on Sunday.
A resolution requesting Sonia Gandhi to pick the next chief minister was passed unanimously in a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party here.
Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken, who was one of the two central observers deputed by the party, informed the media after the meeting Saturday evening that 78 out of total 80 party legislators were present in the CLP meeting, which he called was "very important".
He said a resolution praising and thanking the contribution of Amarinder Singh towards Punjab and the Congress was also unanimously passed at the meeting.
"We also expect that the party will continue to get guidance from Amarinder Singh," he further said.
This resolution was moved by Maken and seconded by Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa.
Maken said the second resolution in which the Congress president was authorised to pick the Congress legislature party leader was also unanimously passed.
"Whosoever she picks will be unanimously accepted by everybody," said Maken.
The senior party leader and former minister said that this resolution was moved by Brahm Mohindra and seconded by MLAs Raj Kumar Verka, Sangat Singh Gilzian and Amrik Singh Dhillon.
"We have apprised the Congress president about these two resolutions. We will wait for her response and guidance," he further said.
Asked if any names were discussed, Maken replied in the negative.
Last month, four ministers and around two dozen party legislators had raised a banner of revolt against the Punjab CM and had said they had no faith in Amarinder Singh's ability to honour unfulfilled promises.
Four ministers--Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Charanjit Singh Channi--had raised a demand for replacing the CM.
The crisis in the party's state unit has been brewing for the past many months.