Win ability will be the only consideration for the selection of candidates for the Punjab Assembly polls and being an MLA does not give suriry to candidature, told Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday as he resumed the charge at the party’s state office here. Sidhu had earlier put a precondition that he would resume the charge the day a new advocate general was appointed and a panel for the appointment of a new director general of police came from the UPSC. Sidhu had earlier resigned as the Punjab Congress chief, objecting to the appointments. The Punjab government had earlier this month accepted the resignation of Advocate General A P S Deol.
Sidhu was accompanied by AICC general secretary Harish Chaudhary and Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
He told reporters that a list of district Congress committee presidents will also be released soon and asserted that the party was united. Sidhu said the criteria of the candidates for the upcoming elections will be winnability. ”We will not compromise on the criteria,” said Sidhu while stating that it would not be a guarantee that once a person had become an MLA, he would be getting the ticket again for contesting the polls.
”The party will decide, surveys will be done, high command will decide. We have a very good democratic system which will decide about the candidates but the criteria is merit,” asserted Sidhu.
To a question on an alliance with any party for the polls, Chaudhary said at this point of time, there were no talks on alliance.
He, however, said the party was open to like-minded parties which have vision to take Punjab and ‘Punjabiyat’ forward. To a question on going with CM face in the elections, Chaudhary evaded a clear reply but said for them, every person of Punjab is the chief ministerial face.
Chaudhary said the party’s state unit under the leadership of Navjot Sidhu and the state government under chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi will take Punjab forward.
He again pitched for raising the state’s income for spending on development works rather than depending upon the debt. ”Punjab is the most indebted state in the country. Today, Goa’s capital expenditure per person is Rs 14,000 while Haryana’s is Rs 6,000 and the national average is Rs 3,500. But Punjab spends only Rs 870,” he said.
Stressing that becoming self-reliant was a key in the state’s progress, he said Punjab has to be put back on its feet in terms of financial position.
”Punjab has to be taken out of the debt cycle,” he said.
Sidhu said the party would come out with a concrete plan to bail out Punjab from a precarious situation. ”Opportunities will have to be created by generating income,” he said. Replying to a question, Sidhu stressed on giving results to people, saying they will judge leaders only on the basis of performance. Sidhu apparently called himself and Channi as two wheels of a ”rath” (chariot), stressing that it cannot be driven with either of the wheels missing.