Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi will be contesting from two seats in the upcoming Punjab Assembly Election 2022. As the party released a list of eight candidates on Sunday, it was made clear that the party is fielding Channi from Bhadaur as well. Earlier, he was declared as a candidate from Chamkaur Sahib, the constituency he has been representing for over a decade.
The development comes amid speculations over Congress’s CM candidate in Punjab on which Congress leader Rahul Gandhi assured that despite the party’s tradition of not announcing a CM face generally, the party will be announcing the CM face this time in Punjab, after consulting with the party workers.
While Chamkaur Sahib is a known turf for Channi as he has been representing the constituency since 2007, Bhadaur is uncharted territory for the party. In 2017, the Congress got only 20% votes. The Aam Aadmi Party has a stronghold in the region.
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As the Congress seeks to retain power in Punjab, the leadership question remains unsettled with both Channi and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu being contenders for the top job. The party has so far announced a collective leadership. Channi is in the CM seat only for the last few months and was apparently considered as a stop-gap arrangement in Punjab between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu, support in favour of Channi as the next CM, if Congress wins, is swelling.
When Rahul Gandhi visited Amritsar, both Channi and Sidhu urged Rahul to announce a CM candidate as they said this is the demand of the Punjab people. “Normally, the Congress doesn’t do it, but if the party, its workers or Punjab wants it, then we will take a decision on the chief ministerial face by consulting our workers and the right person will lead Punjab,” Rahul said.
“See, two people can’t lead. Only one will lead. Both of them promised me that the other person will commit to helping whoever becomes the CM face,” he added.
मैंने कहा था कि हमारे सर्वे के मुताबिक़ चन्नी जी चमकौर साहिब से हार रहे हैं। आज कांग्रेस ने एलान किया है कि वो दो सीटों से चुनाव लड़ेंगे। इसका मतलब सर्वे सच है? — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 30, 2022
AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal said his party’s survey found out that Channi is going to lose from Chamkaur Sahib. “I already told that according to our survey Channiji is going to lose from Chamkaur Sahib. Today, Congress announced that he would be contesting from two seats. Does this mean that the survey was true?” Kejriwal tweeted.