Punjab Assembly elections | Punjab

Congress will reveal Punjab CM face: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and party’s state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu at Golden Temple in Amritsar on January 27, 2022.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and party’s state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu at Golden Temple in Amritsar on January 27, 2022.

Congress leader and former president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the party would be soon announcing its chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Assembly election in Punjab.

“..I had a discussion withCharanjit Singh Channi [Punjab Chief Minister] and Navjot Singh Sidhu [State unit president]about who will lead — the media persons term it as CM candidate. Both Mr. Channi and Mr. Sidhu told me that the biggest question in Punjab is who will lead the Congress party. And both have assured me that no matter who is declared as party’s chief ministerial candidate, they will support each other and fight the polls with all their might to ensure the party’s victory.. we usually don’t do this [announcing the CM candidate] but if the party and its workers and Punjab want it then we will take a decision on CM candidate for you. How will we make this decision, it shall be by asking our workers. The person who is right will take Punjab forward and others will back him like a team..,” said Mr. Gandhi

He was addressing the party’s ‘Punjab Fateh’ virtual rally in Jalandhar in the run-up to the Assembly election. A party statement claimed that the digital relay was connected through LEDs across all 117 Assembly constituencies and 22 district headquarters of Punjab, where upto 300 people gathered at each location following the Covid-19 protocols. The party statement added that more than 4,00,000 people watched on social media with 30,000 comments, 9000 shares and over 9 lakh people reach within only two hours of the rally making it the most successful hybrid virtual rally of the country.

Concentration of power

Mr. Gandhi said be it the BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party or other political parties, they all work towards concentrating the power. “They concentrate the powers in the hands of CMs and PM, but the Congress’s ideology is to give power in the hands of people. The power, which is being centralised at the national level by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, does that and in States CMs of these parties do that. Let me tell you, the three farm laws were brought by Mr. Modi, but farmers of Punjab stood against the government of India and forced them to get the laws repealed.

“But what was the purpose of bringing these laws? It was to snatch whatever the farmers, the labourers, the small shopkeepers have and then give it to the five-six big billionaires of the country. After decisions like the demonetisation, the GST and the farm laws, the country will not be able to generate employment. And the country is facing serious unemployment. In Punjab, we have reduced fuel prices and electricity tariffs, but such decisions don’t happen in other States. We did it because we understand the pain of the poor,” he said.

“How will we decentralise power in Punjab. There are thousands of crores in the liquor, mining, transport and cable sector, which is not reaching you [people]. We will do revolutionary work in these sectors so that your money can be given over to you. From all the money that we will generate through these sectors, world-class infrastructure through different clusters would be developed across the State. We want that ‘Made in Punjab’ should be seen across the globe,” he said.

Symbol of an ideology

Mr. Gandhi said for the party, Punjab is a symbol of an ideology. “It’s not just a State for the Congress. Punjab’s brotherhood is core of Congress’s ideology. Peace and brotherhood are something that Punjab wants the most and Congress will ensure that peace continues to prevail in Punjab. The Congress party will not let society get divided at any cost. We know how to take everyone together.”

Earlier Mr. Gandhi visited the Golden Temple, the Durgaina Temple and the Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal in Amritsar along with party candidates.

Mr. Channi, Mr. Sidhu and Deputy Chief Ministers Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and O.P Soni received Mr. Gandhi at the Amritsar airport on his arrival from Delhi.


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 1:16:53 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/punjab-assembly/punjab-assembly-elections-congress-will-soon-announce-cm-candidate-says-rahul-gandhi/article38334941.ece