The AICC on Thursday appointed Sunil Kumar Jakhar (63) as the new president of its Punjab unit, replacing Captain Amarinder Singh, who led the party to victory in the Assembly polls held on February 4 this year. After becoming the chief minister, Amarinder had resigned from the party chief’s post on April 12 during his meeting with AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.
A former Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader and a three-time ex-MLA, Jakhar had lost the recent Assembly election from his constituency of Abohar by a small margin. An elated Jakhar told to media.he would become a bridge between party workers and the government in the state. “I will work towards ensuring that the aspirations of the workers, who remained committed to the party despite it being in opposition for 10 years, are fulfilled.”
According to Congress sources, Jakhar, an upright leader who enjoys a clean image in Punjab, has been “adjusted” on the crucial party post owing to his proximity to Amarinder. Though the party was considering Rahul’s protégé and Sangrur MLA Vijay Inder Singla and party’s national spokesperson Manish Tewari for the post, Jakhar fit the bill considering he had made a place for himself in Punjab politics.
Jakhar has been raising issues of farmers in Punjab as the CLP leader and even after he was removed from the post. He belongs to a well-known political family of Punjab. His father, late Balram Jakhar, was a parliamentarian and Governor of Madhya Pradesh.
Jakhar was ignored by the party during nominations for the Rajya Sabha in 2016. While former PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa was nominated to the upper house, Jakhar was left disappointed. He remained upset with Amarinder for some time as the latter had not recommended him to be nominated. He was later placated by Amarinder later.