The chief of the campaign committee of Punjab Congress, Ambika Soni, on Monday underlined that there should not be any doubt in anybody’s mind that Captain Amarinder Singh will be Chief Minister if the party wrested power in the 2017 Assembly elections.
Talking to The Indian Express Monday, Soni said the PPCC chief was the face of the party and that the election campaign was centered around him. There were speculation when AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi did not declare Amarinder as CM candidate during his recent visit to Punjab, more so with the party declaring veteran leader Sheila Dixit as CM candidate ahead of Uttar Pradesh elections.
Besides, Amarinder has himself on a number of occasions said the party should announce the CM candidate as people wanted to know whose government should they vote for. Soni, however, refused to accept there was any controversy in this regard and said: “Some sections of Congress want him (Amarinder) to be declared as CM candidate. But how does it matter? It will be done eventually. There is still over five months to go. There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that he is the leader.”
Heaping praise on Amarinder, the Rajya Sabha member said: “The USP of Congress in Punjab is that Congress is the solution to many problems in the state. This is only because of Amarinder. It was during his regime that many issues were handled effectively, be it SYL or smooth procurement of grains. He rules the heart of every Punjabi. They all know if problems faced by Punjab are to be solved, it has to be with someone like Amarinder at the helm of affair.”
Soni said party strategist Prashant Kishor has built the campaign around Amarinder. “PK (Kishor) told us he strategises a campaign only if it is individual-centric. Here, it is Amarinder-centric. The programmes have been named after him, including Coffee with Captain, Halke vich Captain, Chahunda hai Punjab Captain di Sarkar. It is beyond doubt.”
Stating that Amarinder has been given a free hand by the high command, Soni said he was free to take decisions. “He has charisma, a unique style, charm and personna. He bonds with people immediately,” she added.