Rajasthan Revenue Minister Harish Chaudhary was on Friday appointed by the party as its Punjab affairs in charge.
Chaudhary replaces AICC general secretary and former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat, whose tenure in Punjab saw a rebellion against Capt Amarinder Singh and his ouster as CM. Navjot Sidhu was appointed PPCC chief in the face of fierce opposition by Amarinder.
Rawat had been seeking from the high command that he should be relieved from the post as he had to concentrate on his election in Uttarakhand.
The relieving orders came quite late although he had been requesting for the same for quite some time.
Apart from Rawat, Chaudhary had earlier worked in Punjab as deputy to former AICC general secretary incharge Asha Kumari and Shakeel Ahmed also.
Chaudhary had an important role to play in Amarinder’s removal and was tipped to be the next incharge.
He was instrumental in taking feedback about Amarinder from the MLAs and organising telephonic conversations of these MLAs with AICC leader Rahul Gandhi.
Chaudhary now faces an uphill task ahead of taking Channi and Sidhu together, especially when the party will be going to elections in 2022 and will have to distribute tickets.
Rawat said, “I am very thankful to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi that she gave me the opportunity to head Punjab as incharge. I am also thankful to all leaders of Punjab Congress who helped me take tough decisions in difficult situations. I have immense satisfaction that the state is in the hands of two capable leaders in Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who are moving forward together. They will get guidance from my associate Harish Chaudhary. I hope Punjab Congress will reach new heights and I will be able to handle dedicatedly my work as campaign committee chief in Uttarakhand.”
Chaudhary said he would try to take the entire Congress family together.
On whether he would be able to take Channi and Sidhu together, Chaudhary said, “Not just the two of them but the entire Congress family will go together”
He added that the differences are natural in a democratic set up.
On being a Rajasthan minister, he said he would take it up with the party that he is a votary of one person one post rule.
“I will take it up with them. Whatever they decide, I will abide by that,” he said.
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