Navjot Singh Sidhu’s impending appointment as the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) could mean he would be Captain Amarinder Singh’s successor and maybe the Chief Minister of the state sometime in the future if the Congress wins in 2022 in Punjab.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s media advisor on Thursday said Singh “will lead the party to victory in the 2022 polls as he did in 2017”, implying that 79-year-old Singh is in no mood to hang his boots. The party is going into the elections with Singh as the CM but Sidhu’s probable appointment as the PPCC Chief clears the succession path for the party in Punjab as the High Command does see Sidhu as the “future”. Who becomes the CM also depends on whom the majority of MLAs support, which is presently enjoyed by Captain Amarinder Singh.
There are latest precedents in the Congress of PCC Chiefs becoming the CMs if a majority of the winning MLAs back the person, which is sometimes the case as the PCC Chief has a major say in deciding tickets. In fact, before the 2017 assembly elections in Punjab in a similar set of circumstances, Captain Amarinder Singh had forced the Congress High Command to appoint him as the PPCC Chief replacing Partap Singh Bajwa, his known detractor. Singh got the post and later Rahul Gandhi also announced him as the CM face just on the eve of the elections. Now, Sidhu seems to be forcing the High Command’s hand to extend him the same favour.