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Captain Amarinder Singh as CM face was timed to boost Congress campaign in last lap

Amarinder is undoubtedly the tallest leader of the Congress in Punjab, having a charisma and a strong support base.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
January 29, 2017 3:15:24 am
Amarinder Singh, Amarinder Singh CM face, Congress CM face, Punjab polls, Punjab election, Punjab assembly election, Punjab Congress, indian express news Punjab Congress President Captain Amarinder Singh. (File Photo)

With the Congress declaring Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh as its chief ministerial candidate on Friday, the party has played its trump card with just a week to go for the Assembly elections. While the party’s campaign was spun around Amarinder, the it was short of making the big announcement that came in Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia’s bastion Majitha on Friday.

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Sources said it was over two months ago that the Congress had decided to announce Amarinder as its CM candidate before the election, but party strategist Prashant Kishor wanted it timed just ahead of elections so as to whip up party’s campaign. Already, by pitting Amarinder against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in his Lambi constituency, party’s spin master believes it could help the Congress in other seats in central Malwa, where Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has a groundswell of support.

Amarinder is undoubtedly the tallest leader of the Congress in Punjab, having a charisma and a strong support base. As soon as he was announced the candidate, he tweeted: “Humbled & honoured to be the Punjab Congress’s CM face. Committed to serving my beloved state & bringing back the smiles on the faces of Punjabis (sic).” Sources said it was decided that with Rahul Gandhi’s announcement declaring him CM face, the party would be able to create a buzz on the social media. Also, it would be able to launch an attack on the fierce opponent AAP that they did not have the CM candidate.

“We are prepared. They do not have anyone. Only person they can declare the CM candidate could be Bhagwant Mann. We have enough of ammunition against him,” said a senior Congress leader. Wasting no time, Amarinder too nudged Arvind Kejriwal during his rally at Ferozepore later in the day, asking AAP to declare its CM candidate. He said all other major political parties in Punjab had made their CM face clear, but AAP had a nefarious design in the delay.

Delay in announcing Amarinder as the CM candidate had become a major issue in Punjab, especially with Kejriwal nudging Amarinder on Twitter stating cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu was tipped to be the CM. The announcement finally brought relief to Amarinder’s camp also, “Not that we had an iota of doubt about him but that we were speechless whenever any opponent raised it,” said an Amarinder supporter.

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