Congress MLAs have proposed the name Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, a minister in the outgoing cabinet of Capt Amarinder Singh to become Punjab‘s new Chief Minister, Congress MLA Pritam Kotbhai has said.
Randhawa’s name has been doing the rounds among the probables to be the new leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Punjab, and the leader asserted Sunday that he has never hankered after posts. LIVE Updates: AICC Backs Sukhjinder Randhawa for CM; Rahul Gandhi Meeting Ambika Soni in Delhi
Who is Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa?
Born on April 25, 1959, Randhawa is a Member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly and represents Dera Baba Nanak. He currently handles Ministries of Jail and Department Of Cooperation in the Punjab government.
He was born in the Gurdaspur district’s Dharowali hamlet, tehsil Dera Baba Nanak. His father, Santokh Singh, was the Punjab Congress chief twice and one of the most senior congressmen at the time. Sukhjinder graduated from the Government School in Chandigarh in 1975.
Randhawa initially ran for the Punjab Legislative Assembly from Fatehgarh Churian in 2002, defeating Akali Dal’s Nirmal Singh Kahlon. He was elected in 2012 from the new constituency of Dera Baba Nanak. He was reelected as MLA from the Dera Baba Naka assembly constituency in 2017.
He was one of 42 INC MLAs who resigned in protest at the Supreme Court of India judgement that Punjab’s termination of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) water canal was illegal, according to reports.
A traditional Congressman, Randhawa has played an important role in opposing Capt. Amarinder Singh.
Randhawa, an Akali baiter and erstwhile close colleague of Capt Amarinder, fell out with the former chief minister over unfulfilled election promises, and had joined hands with Navjot Singh Sidhu earlier this year.
Dig at Captain
When asked by mediapersons on Sunday whether it can be assumed that they are talking to the future chief minister, Randhawa quipped, “You are talking to a Congressman".
In a veiled dig at Amarinder Singh, he then added, “A chief minister remains (in his post) only till the time when his party, people of the state stand by him".
Asked how soon can one expect the name of new CLP leader to be announced, Randhawa said, “We have authorized Congress president in this regard."
He said the party senior leadership has not only to talk to the MLAs, but other stalwarts too before finalizing the name. Asked why so much time is being taken to announce the CLP leader, he said, “If you have to make a village sarpanch, sometimes it takes 20 days to decide".
However, he assured the new CLP leader’s name will be announced later in the day.