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Former Punjab Congress Chief Sunil Jakhar Resigns following Disciplinary Action

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Sunil Jakhar, a senior Congressman and former head of the party’s Punjab unit, resigned today, weeks after the party’s leadership issued him a showcause notice for his criticism of former Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.

Mr Jakhar said in a Facebook live video, “Goodbye and good luck, Congress,” after slamming former party colleagues who led the anti-Jakhar campaign.

His comments come as the Congress leadership gathers in Udaipur in a last-ditch effort to get its house in order in order to take on the BJP.

Mr Jakhar was suspended from the Congress for two years and removed from all positions by a disciplinary panel earlier this month.

Senior party leader AK Antony chairs the five-member Committee. Members Tariq Anwar, JP Aggarwal, and G Parameswar, as well as Mr Antony, were present at the meeting to discuss what action should be taken against Mr Jakhar.

Mr Jakhar’s boogeywoman, Ambika Soni, was not present at the meeting.

After the Punjab Congress lost to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the former Punjab Congress chief criticised former Chief Minister Channi and called him a liability for the party.

Mr Jakhar had also chastised the party leadership for nominating Mr Channi as the Chief Ministerial candidate for the elections, and Ms Soni for allegedly sabotaging his chances of succeeding Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister.

Ms Soni had said she turned down an offer for the Chief Minister post and told the leadership that only a Sikh should be chosen for the job during the Punjab Congress’s crisis following Amarinder Singh’s resignation in September.

Mr Jakhar was a front-runner for the top job, and Ms Soni’s remark was said to have ruined his chances.

Mr Jakhar slammed her, saying her remark ruined the Congress’ chances in the Assembly elections.

“Ambika Soni’s comments spoiled our chances in polls. Her comments defamed Sikhs and the Hindus of Punjab,” he said. Addressing Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he added, “I urge you (Sonia Gandhi) to ask her (Soni) if she knows what Sikhism is,” he added, accusing her of trying to create a rift in Hindu-Sikh brotherhood.

Ms Soni was singled out again by the estranged Congress leader, who claimed she had jumped ship in 1977. “She was close to Sanjay Gandhi ji and Indira Gandhi ji, but she ran against a Congress candidate in Chandigarh in 1977,” he said.

“And see who has issued a showcause notice to me, Tariq Anwar, a man who switched to the NCP demanding that a woman of foreign origin can’t be the PM,” Mr Jakhar added.

He sneered at the Congress’ brainstorming session, saying it was nothing more than a “formality.” “The party is going through an existential crisis, and we’re acting as if we’re responsible for the entire country. There are many ideas for decorating the house, but first decide how to save it, as they say.”

In response to the election results in Punjab, he stated that voters did not vote on religious or caste lines, but rather as Punjabis hoping for a better future. He praised the state’s voters for not succumbing to the “poisonous seeds sown” by congressional leaders.

“I would request Sonia Gandhi, do politics across the country, but spare Punjab, it has seen very dark days. Punjab is one,” he said.

 

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