THE CONGRESS has appointed Navtej Singh Cheema, a first-time MLA, as Congress chief whip in Punjab. In 2012, Cheema had defeating a SAD heavyweight and the then state finance minister Bibi Upinderjit Kaur from Sultanpur Lodhi, an Akali bastion.
Cheema said he had “not expected” the appointment and that it was a “pleasant surprise”.
He said he would like to interact extensively with youths and “connect them” with the policies of the Congress.
Notably, there was no chief whip in Punjab for the past three years.
Cheema’s father, the late Gurmail Singh Cheema, had been Congress MLA from the same constituency from 1992-1997 during the tenure of the Beant Singh government. He had also served as minister for food and civil supplies for a few months in Rajinder Kaur Bhattal’s government in 1997.
“I was appointed district Congress committee president in 2003 at the age of 28 and was youngest in the country then,” said Navtej Cheema.
Local Congress leaders welcomed the appointment of Cheema, who enjoys a clean image. “Such leaders are the need of the hour for the Congress party,” said a leader from Doaba.