Ground Report | New Delhi: Who is the next Chief Minister of Punjab; In Punjab, the Congress Legislature Party has left it to Congress President Sonia Gandhi to choose the new Chief Minister of the state. However, the names of four Congress leaders – Sunil Jakhar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, and Pratap Singh Bajwa are being discussed the most for the post of CM.
Assembly elections are to be held in Punjab in the month of February next year and in such a situation, whoever becomes the Chief Minister, his tenure will be only for a few months.
ALSO READ: CM Amarinder Singh resigns
If we look at the 2017 elections on the basis, then the model code of conduct will be implemented from January 2022. In such a situation, whoever becomes the new Chief Minister of Punjab, he will have more than this. 12 weeks to show your charisma.
According to the news of Indian Express, speculations are being made in the name of former PCC president Sunil Jakhar. If Jakhar becomes the chief minister, it will be the first time since the reorganization of Punjab in 1966 that the state will have a Hindu chief minister.
Who is the next Chief Minister of Punjab
Sunil Jakhar comes from a farming family and has a stronghold in the Hindu community of Punjab. Whose double benefit can go in their favor?
Jakhar is a well-known landlord of Abohar and is the son of former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar. The 67-year-old Congress leader has been a three-time MLA from Abohar constituency (2002-2017) and has also represented the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency.
Sunil Jakhar’s political career suffered a setback when he lost to the BJP candidate from Abohar in the 2017 assembly elections. Though he was appointed as the state Congress president in 2017, he faced another electoral defeat in 2019, when he lost the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat to BJP candidate Sunny Deol.
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa (62) is the Minister of Prisons and Cooperation in Captain Amarinder Singh’s cabinet.
Hailing from the Gurdaspur district of Punjab’s Majha region, Randhawa has been a three-time Congress MLA and was elected in 2002, 2007, and 2017. He has held the post of Vice President and General Secretary of State Congress. He comes from a Congress family. His father Santokh Singh has been the state Congress President twice and is also a well-known person of the Majha region.
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has been quite aggressive against the Badal family. Randhawa had raised the issue of non-prosecution of the accused in the 2015 sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab and the subsequent death of two youths in police firing. Later echoing the voice of Navjot Singh Sidhu, he also openly revolted against Captain Amarinder Singh accusing him of not fulfilling his election promises.
Pratap Singh Bajwa
64-year-old Pratap Singh Bajwa of Gurdaspur district is also among the possible candidates for the post of CM. He is one of the senior-most Congress leaders in the state and is currently also a Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab. Pratap Singh Bajwa’s father Satnam Singh Bajwa was also a senior Congress leader and had been a minister.
Pratap Singh Bajwa’s younger brother Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa is also a sitting MLA of Congress. While his wife Charanjit Kaur Bajwa has also been an MLA in the previous assembly. Bajwa has been the President of the State Congress Committee and has been MLA and minister thrice in various Congress governments in the state between 1994 and 2007.
He has also been a Lok Sabha MP from Gurdaspur. The manner in which the developments have changed since Navjot Singh Sidhu joined the Congress is not hidden from anyone.
Navjot Singh Sidhu is the current President of the Pradesh Congress Committee. He was also a minister in Captain Amarinder Singh’s cabinet but later resigned. He later opened a front against Captain Amarinder Singh and also made rhetoric against him and his government in many public forums.
Sidhu, a former international cricketer and host of a television comedy show, became the state Congress president despite protests from Amarinder Singh and has now managed to oust him from the chief minister’s post. All this happened within just five months.
Sidhu, a three-time MP from Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency and a nominated member of BJP’s Rajya Sabha, maybe the youngest in the list, but his name is the most discussed.
Just before the 2017 assembly elections, Sidhu left the BJP and joined Congress. Like the other three potential candidates, he too comes from a Congress family.