Chandigarh: Congress MP Manish Tewari on Saturday said the party will decide who will lead and be the face of the campaign for the Punjab Assembly elections. He also said that elected MLAs have the right to elect the Chief Minister.
“As an MP and a political worker, I personally think that in a democracy the right to elect CM lies with elected MLAs. Who leads the campaign, who becomes the face of the campaign can be decided by the party,” Tewari told ANI.
When asked about Navjot Singh Sidhu’s statement that “people at the top” want a weak Chief Minister who can dance to their tune, he said, “Navjot Singh Sidhu’s answer is Navjot Singh Sidhu himself and no one should get involved in this. No one can understand his statement,” he said.”
Speaking to ANI, the Congress MP also said that he is not surprised that his name is missing from the list of star campaigners.
“I would have been surprised had my name been there; not surprised that it’s not there. Everyone knows the reason. As far as Hindus and Sikhs are concerned, it has never been an issue in Punjab. Had it ever been an issue, I would have not been MP from Sri Anandpur Sahib,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, Congress released the list of star campaigners for the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections and the names of prominent G-23 leaders of the Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad and Manish Tewari were missing, which apparently hinted at a rift within the party’s state unit.
Commenting on Congress leader Sunil Jakhar claim that a majority of MLAs had backed him for the Chief Minister’s post after Amarinder Singh quit and the person who got two votes was selected Chief Minister, Tewari said, “There are no differences between Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab. It is true that perhaps to stop Sunil Jakhar at that time, some ‘Mathadheesh’ who are sitting in Delhi might have used such a narrow mindset,” he added.
Jakhar had claimed that 42 of 79 party MLAs wanted him to take over as the Punjab Chief Minister after Amarinder Singh stepped down from the post while only two legislators favoured Charanjit Singh Channi.
Punjab will go to the polls on February 20. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.