CHANDIGARH: Ahead of the oath-taking ceremony of Charanjit Singh Channi as Punjab chief minister, Congress leader Sunil Jakhar on Monday questioned AICC general secretary Harish Rawat's reported statement that the upcoming state elections would be fought under the leadership of Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Jakhar, who is also the former Punjab Congress chief, dubbed Rawat's statement as "baffling", saying it is likely to "undermine" the authority of the chief minister.
"On the swearing-in day of Sh @Charnjit_channi as Chief Minister, Mr Rawats's statement that 'elections will be fought under Sidhu', is baffling. It's likely to undermine CM's authority but also negate the very 'raison d'être' of his selection for this position," said Jakhar in a tweet.
Channi is set to take oath at 11 am.
Rawat had reportedly said that the Punjab Assembly polls next year will be fought under Sidhu.
Jakhar was one of the frontrunners for the post of new Congress Legislative Party leader after Amarinder Singh was nudged into quitting ostensibly over his "failure" to fulfil the promises made by the party in the 2017 assembly polls.
However, the Congress finally picked Channi for the post and it was learnt that Sidhu backed it.
Reacting to Jakhar's tweet, BJP leader Amit Malviya called it as "huge insult" to the Dalit community.
"This is a huge insult to the entire Dalit community if Charanjit Singh Channi has been made the CM, only to hold the seat for Navjot Singh Sidhu, the chosen Gandhi family loyalist.
This completely undermines the Dalit empowerment narrative being peddled by the Congress. Shame," said Malviya in a tweet.