Punjab Congress Crisis: Ambika Soni rejects CM post offer, says Amarinder Singh’s successor should be from Sikh community

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Updated: September 19, 2021 1:11 PM

Punjab Congress Crisis: Ambika Soni is believed to have turned down the offer in a meeting with Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, asserting that the new chief minister should be from the Sikh community. 

Ambika Soni is believed to have turned down the offer in a meeting with Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, asserting that the new chief minister should be from the Sikh community. 

Congress leader Ambika Soni, whose name has been doing rounds among the probables to succeed Captain Amarinder Singh as the chief minister of Punjab, has rejected the offer. Soni is believed to have turned down the offer in a meeting with Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, asserting that the new chief minister should be from the Sikh community.

“I’ve declined the offer (to be the next Punjab CM). Party’s exercise is going on in Chandigarh with the general secretary and observers are taking views of all MLAs. I believe Punjab CM face should be a Sikh,” she said.

The Congress Legislature Party meeting, which was scheduled to held at 11 am today, has been reportedly called off with the party leadership unable to zero in on the successor of Captain Amarinder Singh, who stepped down as the chief minister on Saturday, after months of stalemate with state party president Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, current state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa are frontrunners for the post of the CLP leader. Names of senior party leaders Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Brahm Mohindra, Vijay Inder Singla, Punjab Congress working president Kuljit Singh Nagra and MP Partap Singh Bajwa are also doing the rounds.

In Saturday’s CLP meeting, the MLAs had taken a resolution authorising Congress President Sonia Gandhi to select its next leader. This came after Amarinder Singh resigned as Punjab chief minister, saying he felt “humiliated” at the way the party handled the infighting in the state unit.

“I am feeling humiliated. I have been in politics for 52 years. I will talk to my supporters and then I will decide on my future in politics,” Captain Amarinder stated after stepping down.

Sonia Gandhi was learnt to have asked Amarinder to step down to facilitate the election of a new leader. The Chief Minister, however, refused to give in. Sources said Amarinder spoke to Sonia Saturday morning and told her he would rather resign from the party than face such “humiliation”. The state goes to the polls early next year.

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