Punjab needs a leader who has solutions to challenges: Manish Tewari’s dig at Charanjit Singh Channi – The Hindu


Manish Tewari, a member of the ‘Group of 23’ leaders who had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding an organisational overhaul, is considered close to former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh. File   | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K.
Amid a tussle over who should be Congress’ chief ministerial face for the upcoming Assembly polls, Lok Sabha member Manish Tewari on Wednesday said Punjab needs a “serious” person whose politics is not social engineering or entertainment.
Tagging a news report about Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi indicating that the party should name a chief ministerial face, Mr. Tewari tweeted,”Punjab requires a CM who has solutions to Punjab’s challenges, capacity to take tough decisions”.
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“Punjab NEEDS serious people whose politics is NOT Social Engineering, Entertainment, Freebies & NOT regime favourites rejected by people in successive elections,” the Lok Sabha member added.
Following the replacement of Capt. (Retd.) Amarinder Singh with the surprise choice of Charanjit Singh Channi as the Chief Minister last September, there has been an intense and often public tussle over the top post between Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mr. Channi.
Many believed Mr. Sidhu would be the party’s natural choice for the high command if Congress managed to retain power in the State. But with the Congress claiming that former party chief Rahul Gandhi had delivered a “master stroke” in choosing Mr. Channi, Punjab’s first Dalit chief minister, the leadership question got complicated.
It not only intensified the public sparring between Mr. Sidhu and Mr. Channi over policy and government appointments among other things but the Congress was forced to issue a public statement that the polls will be fought under a collective leadership.
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On January 08 when the Election Commission announced the poll dated for the Assembly elections to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala reiterated the party’s stance of going into a polls under Mr. Channi, Mr. Sidhu and former PCC chief Sunil Jakhar.
Against this backdrop, Mr. Tewari’s tweet can be read as an attack on all the three leaders. While Mr. Channi’s elevation is part of Congress’ social engineering, the reference to freebies is to target Mr. Sidhu’s promise of free LPG cylinders and Mr. Jakhar is the leader who lost successive elections (2017 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha polls).
“The tweet speaks for itself and I have nothing to add or subtract,” Mr. Tewari told the The Hindu when asked about it.
The Congress leader enlisted the challenges that his State faces in terms of high debt to GDP, land holdings of less than 5 acres for 84 per cent of the population, falling water table, among other issues.
“Unfortunately, no political party, much less a leader, is telling the people that the State is up a creek without a paddle. What is required is tough decisions, belt tightening and a razor sharp focus to emancipate Punjab from the morass it has sunk into,” Mr. Tewari said.

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Printable version | Jan 13, 2022 3:27:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/punjab-assembly/punjab-needs-a-leader-who-has-solutions-to-challenges-manish-tewaris-dig-at-charanjit-singh-channi/article38247931.ece
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