Other States

Now, Congress says both Channi and Sidhu are its faces

A file photo of Randeep Surjewala   | Photo Credit: KIRAN BAKALE

In a bid to control the damage caused by All India Congress Committee (AICC) in charge of Punjab Harish Rawat’s statement that the party would contest the State Assembly polls under Navjot Singh Sidhu’s leadership, AICC chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Monday said both Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Mr. Sidhu will be the faces of the party.

While Mr. Channi will represent the government, Mr. Sidhu will be the face of the party in the polls, said Mr. Surjewala, adding that Mr. Rawat’s statement was ‘misconstrued and misrepresented’.

The AICC spokesperson was forced to issue a “clarification” after the BJP, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Aam Admi Party (AAP) attacked the Congress for ‘insulting’ a Dalit Chief Minister.

Also Read: It’s Congress’s ‘lip service’ to idea of Dalit empowerment: BJP

While BSP supremo Mayawati claimed that the appointment of Mr. Channi was an ‘election stunt’, the BJP alleged that the Chief Minister was “made to hold the seat” for a Gandhi family loyalist, referring to Mr. Sidhu.

“Our faces will be Charanjit Singh Channi and Navjot Singh Sidhu, as also ordinary Congress workers and leaders who will be supporting them. If anybody says one or the other will be the face, intentionally or otherwise, it is being misinterpreted by the media,” Mr. Surjewala told reporters.

Baffling: PCC chief

Interestingly, even before others picked up, former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sunil Jakhar was the first to state that Mr. Rawat’s comment was ‘baffling’ and undermined the newly appointed Chief Minister’s authority.

The Congress chief spokesperson, however, chose to ignore and attacked the party’s political rivals for “unwarrantedly, shamelessly and regrettably” attacking the candidature of Mr. Channi.

“I want to tell all our friends in the media, please, you also do not grudge the young Dalit leader and the role assigned him to as Chief Minister of Punjab... He will be our face along with Navjot Singh Sidhu, which is natural. We urge the BJP, Akali Dal, BSP and the AAP to stop insulting Dalits and spread lies about them,” he stated.

Arguing that Mr. Channi is the only Dalit Chief Minister right now, he observed, “May I ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi that you have been in power for seven long years and in a dozen States, have you ever appointed a Dalit as Chief Minister?”


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 9:35:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/both-channi-and-sidhu-are-faces-of-the-party-says-cong/article36571300.ece

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