Punjab polls results: Channi proved a liability, not an asset, says Jakhar

By, Chandigarh
Mar 15, 2022 07:58 AM IST

The Congress had also declared Channi as its chief ministerial face for the polls just days before polling.

After a crushing defeat in the assembly elections, a blame game has started in the Punjab Congress with senior leaders holding former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and some central leaders responsible for the rout.

Congress leader Sunil Jakhar. (File photo)
Congress leader Sunil Jakhar. (File photo)

Calling Channi a “liability whose greed pulled the party down”, former Punjab Congress president and campaign committee chairman Sunil Jakhar said former Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat and Rajya Sabha member Ambika Soni and their choices — Sidhu and Channi — were responsible for the defeat.

Apart from Jakhar, Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu also blamed Channi and Sidhu for the party’s poor showing in the elections. The AAP swept the polls winning 92 of the 117 assembly seats, pushing the Congress to a distant runner-up position with only 18 seats.

The Congress had also declared Channi as its chief ministerial face for the polls just days before polling.

Blaming Rawat and Soni for committing the blunder of recommending Channi for the CM’s post, Jakhar said that those who projected him as an asset for the Congress in Punjab and other states were again trying to mislead the leadership to cover up their mistakes. “Channi may be an asset for the lady with 30 years in Rajya Sabha but proved to be a liability for the Congress. His image was shattered after the ED raid on his nephew that yielded crores. How can he be projected as the mascot of the Congress?” he asked on Monday.

Jakhar went ballistic following news reports that during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held on Sunday to introspect on the assembly poll results, there was a discussion on how the state leaders in Punjab had failed to support Channi, an “asset” created by the central leadership.

Jakhar said if Channi was such a national treasure, why was he not invited to the CWC meeting, and why was he not used (as a campaigner) in Uttar Pradesh after the Punjab elections were over. “If they have not learnt their lesson and still think of him as an asset, they might as well appoint him as the PPCC president to keep intact the vote bank that he has been able to secure for the party,” he said.

Follow Karnataka election news, exit polls, election schedule and results on Hindustan Times

    A senior assistant editor, Navneet Sharma leads the Punjab bureau for Hindustan Times. He writes on politics, public affairs, civil services and the energy sector.

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