Cap­tain Amarinder to be De­clared Cong’s CM Face

AAP has been tak­ing pot-shots on Congress ask­ing if Singh didn’t en­joy Rahul Gandhi’s con­fi­dence any­more. How­ever, Se­nior Congress lead­ers have rub­bished such talk, say­ing AAP it­self faces dilemma over its CM face

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Aman.Sharma@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The Congress would de­clare Cap­tain Amarinder Singh as the Chief Min­is­ter can­di­date be­fore the Pun­jab elec­tions and both So­nia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have as­sured Singh to that ef­fect, se­nior Congress lead­ers have told ET. “The party wishes to an­nounce the same from the of­fi­cial AICC fo­rum and not in re­sponse to a me­dia query as it was in Chandi­garh. Both So­nia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have told Singh that he will be made the CM face. Even in 2012, Singh was an­nounced as a CM can­di­date just four days be­fore the polls…there are 10 months to go for the 2017 polls. Even the can­di­dates list will be an­nounced only in 3-4 months’ time,” a se­nior party leader said, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity. On Satur­day, Rahul Gandhi in Chandi­garh stopped short of nam­ing Singh as the CM can­di­date, only say­ing this much that Singh is leader of the party in Pun­jab but MLAs would de­cide the CM af­ter the polls. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been tak­ing pot-shots on Congress sub­se­quently, ask­ing if Singh did not en­joy Rahul Gandhi’s con­fi­dence any­more.

Se­nior Congress lead­ers as­so­ci­ated with the Pun­jab cam­paign ho-

FOR BIG­GER ROLE

wever rub­bish such talk, say­ing AAP it­self faces a dilemma over its own CM face. “Dur­ing the Chandi­garh trip, Singh has also asked Rahul that at least 35-40 tick­ets should be given to young­sters this time- …in­clud­ing 10-12 women. Rahul was in agree­ment with the same as a big pro­por­tion of Pun­jab’s pop­u­la­tion is un­der 40 years of age. The for­mula be­ing drawn up is one ticket per fam­ily,” an­other Congress leader said. Singh on Mon­day left for US and Canada for a 3-week tour of nine cities to seek sup­port from Pun­jabi di­as­pora. He has said at his ‘Cof­fee with Cap­tain” events that this is his last elec­tion and he will re­tire if Congress does not win. “AAP does not stand a chance in Pun­jab given many is­sues of rift with Haryana to which AAP’s most pop­u­lar face, Arvind Ke­jri­wal be­longs. Is­sues of SYL canal, Chandi­garh as cap­i­tal etc - will Ke­jri­wal favour Pun­jab or Haryana?” a Congress leader said. Rahul Gandhi in Chandi­garh had also said Congress’ main fight was not with AAP but Akali Dal — con­trary to C-Voter and Huff­in­g­ton Post poll re­cently pre­dict­ing an AAP sweep in Pun­jab. “BJP and Akalis will be fight­ing th­ese polls separately…but they could re­join af­ter the polls,” a Congress leader claimed. Of­fice of RG @Of­ficeOfRG

I’m con­fi­dent that Cong led by Cap­tain will win the polls &make Pun­jab the No.1 state once again!

AAP does not stand a chance in Pun­jab given many is­sues of rift with Haryana to which AAP’s most pop­u­lar face, Arvind Ke­jri­wal be­longs. Is­sues of SYL canal, Chandi­garh as cap­i­tal etc - will Ke­jri­wal favour Pun­jab or Haryana?”

AN­OTHER CONGRESS LEADER

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