Punjab Politics : Chaudhary to replace Rawat?

Jaipur : Rajasthan revenue minister Harish Chaudhary is likely to replace former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat as the Punjab Congress Affairs In-charge, sources said.

During the leadership change, Harish Chaudhary was appointed as an observer by the Congress high command in Punjab, which saw Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation and the elevation of Charanjit Singh Channi as chief minister.

According to sources, Harish Chaudhary has been in talks between new Punjab CM Channi and state Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, after the latter tendered a surprise resignation from the post in a very public manner earlier this week.

Meanwhile, in the turbulence at the Punjab Congress, Harish Rawat and former CM Amarinder Singh have been engaged in an uproar. Rawat reproached Amarinder Singh for failing to keep his promises on important issues and rejected his claim that he was humiliated in the Congress. But the former CM slammed Rawat for making “outrageous” remarks prompted by the pathetic situation the Punjab Congress was now mired in.

Uttarakhand CM said that Captain appeared to be under “some sort of pressure” and should not help and support “BJP directly or indirectly”. Addressing a press conference on Friday, Rawat had said that there are no facts in reports that Captain Amarinder Singh was insulted by Congress.

“No facts in reports that state Captain Amarinder Singh was insulted by Congress. It appears from Captain’s recent statements that he is under some sort of pressure. I think he should rethink and not help BJP directly or indirectly,” Rawat said, adding that Congress had protected and respected his dignity.

“All that has been done by the Congress party till now is to protect the respect and dignity of Captain Amarinder Singh and increase the party’s chances (in 2022 assembly polls) in Punjab,” Rawat said.

“I informed Captain about the CLP meeting through my sources but Captain said he will not attend it as many questions will be raised and he will not be able to able handle the embarrassment. After these remarks, he submitted his resignation to the party high command,” Rawat stated.

Captain Amarinder Singh, who resigned as the Punjab chief minister on September 18, had said he felt “humiliated” by the actions of the Congress party’s national leadership.

“The world saw the humiliation and the insult heaped on me, and yet Rawat is making claims to the contrary,” he said, adding “If this was not humiliation, then what was it?”

Harish Rawat had also claimed that an “overwhelming majority of Congress MLAs” had very clearly expressed their dissatisfaction on the style of functioning by Captain Amarinder Singh’s administration and “quite a good number of MLAs suggested for his immediate replacement”.

Denying the charge, Amarinder Singh said, “How can he now claim that the party leadership was dissatisfied with me, and if they were, then why did he deliberately keep me in the dark all this time?”

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