Elated over the party’s landslide victory in urban local bodies polls, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday launched the “Capt for 2022” campaign to ensure the party’s return to the state assembly polls in early next year under the leadership of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
The ruling Congress won six of the seven municipal corporation elections and emerged the largest party in the eighth.
In the final count, the Congress won 1,199 of the 1,815 wards in municipal councils.
“The message is loud and clear. People have given their mandate for Capt Amarinder Singh as the government nears its term early next year. It is for everyone to see,” Jakhar told the media.
“The polls results in the last year of the government in encouraging,” he added.
With the launch of the “Capt for 2020” campaign, political observers said the party is aiming to launch a campaign projecting Amarinder Singh as the next Chief Minister.
Jakhar, who said government’s development was their agenda in the polls, said the people had rejected the “negative politics” of parties like the BJP, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and AAP.
Taking a jibe at both SAD and its former ally the BJP, he said, “Now let’s see whether the Akalis will rejoin the BJP or the BJP will rejoin the Akalis.”
“We are going to launch our efforts from today onwards (to bring the party back to power again) and I am launching a campaign for ‘Capt for 2022’.
“For 2022, Capt Amarinder Singh will be the captain of this ship. The people have given a message that for this turbulent water, only he (Amarinder) can steer the ship of the state through these turbulent times under which the state is facing discrimination (at the hands of the Centre),” he added.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has already cleared his intention to contest the next assembly elections in the state, but said the decision on leading the party rested with the Congress President.
The Chief Minister has clarified that though he had initially termed the 2017 polls as his last election, he had subsequently, on the persuasion of his party colleagues, announced his decision to contest the 2022 elections, and there is no change in that stance.