A NUMBER of Congress legislators on Monday batted for Abohar MLA Sunil Kumar Jakhar to be renominated as the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader in the Punjab Assembly. In a one-on-one meetings with party observers, the MLAs also signed a resolution authorising AICC president Sonia Gandhi to nominate the office-bearers of the legislative party.
Several other MLAs are learnt to have proposed the names of Sanaur MLA Lal Singh, Chamkaur Sahib MLA Charanjit Singh Channi and Dina Nagar MLA Aruna Chaudhary for the post.
The meeting was held by party observers Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh, and former union minister RPN Singh.
It is likely that the party would announce more than one office-bearer to the CLP as it may look to provide representation to different regions and communities ahead of the 2017 Assembly election.
“The party will announce the CLP leader and other office-bearers before PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh’s Badlaav Rally on December 15,” said general secretary incharge Shakeel Ahmad, who was also a part of the CLP meeting.
“The MLAs have authorised the Congress president to nominate their leader following a resolution moved by former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, which was seconded by Sunil Jakhar and passed by all MLAs through show of hands. Since Soniaji wanted to know the opinion of each one of them as to who they thought could lead the party, the observers have spoken to them separately. They will brief the president about their feedback,” he added.
Sources said most of the MLAs voted for Jakhar since they wanted to toe Amarinder’s line; he has already announced his backing for the former CLP leader.
Bhattal and MLAs Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Raj Kumar Verka and Jagmohan Kang are also among those in the running for the post. Jakhar, however, has categorically made it clear that he is neither in the race nor is interested in being reappointed.
Praise for Bajwa, Jakhar
In the meeting, Patiala (rural) MLA, Brahm Mohindra, proposed to bring in a resolution to extoll the work done by former PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa and former CLP leader Sunil Jakhar, stating they had led the party from the front when it was passing through a critical phase.