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‘Good luck and goodbye’: Ex-PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar quits Congress, warns Rahul Gandhi to stay away from sycophants

Congress had recently removed him from all party positions, alleging that he was involved in anti-party activities.

Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar Saturday announced his decision to quit the party. The senior party leader made the announcement in a 35-minute-long Facebook Live. Congress had recently removed him from all party positions for his involvement in anti-party activities.

Congress leaders sitting in Delhi are ruining the party in Punjab: Sunil Jakhar

While announcing his exit from the party, Jakhar said that Rahul Gandhi is ‘a good person’. He called on him to retake control and warned him to distance himself from sycophants. He said that Congress was facing an existential crisis. “Good luck and goodbye,” said Jakhar as he wound up his outburst. 

On his Facebook Live post, Jakhar ripped into “Congress leaders’ sitting in Delhi for ruining the party in Punjab”.

The former MP castigated Sonia Gandhi for issuing a show-cause notice despite him not holding any position in the party. “I don’t hold any post (in the party). I have an ideology. I want to ask Sonia Gandhi that being Congress president, doesn’t she know that I hold no position in the party? Then why a show-cause notice is being given to me?”

The announcement by Jakhar comes at a time when the Congress party is holding the ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Udaipur, a last ditched attempt to relaunch itself ahead of the crucial 2024 general elections.

The “chintan shivir,” according to the former Gurdaspur MP, was merely a formality and should have been called “chinta shivir,” or a gathering to express concerns. “But the worry was nowhere to be seen,” he said in the video message. “If there had really been a sense of worry, there would have been a committee on the party’s poor show in Uttar Pradesh,” said Jakhar.

He added that Congress’ 390 candidates received less than 2,000 votes in the poll. He claimed that this indicated the party’s top leadership’s poor status.

It may be recalled that in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress won only two of the 403 Assembly seats. Although she did not run for office, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra played a crucial role in the party’s campaign.

Jakhar questioned why Harish Rawat, the former chief minister of Uttarakhand, was appointed as the party in charge of Punjab. He said, “Harish Rawat ji had one foot in Punjab and the other in Dehradun.”

Rawat was to a considerable measure responsible for the party’s failure in Punjab, according to Jakhar, although he did not want to blame him entirely.

The former Punjab Congress head also blamed the party’s defeat on party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ambika Soni. He accused her of leading Rahul Gandhi, the party’s leader, astray, not only in Punjab but also in other states.

Jakhar claimed Soni wanted to divide Hindus and Sikhs, and questioned why she hadn’t been kicked out of the party. “There can be no resurgence of the party unless you get rid of leaders like Ambika Soni,” he remarked.

Reacting to his announcement Navjot Singh Sidhu described Jakhar as an ‘asset’ and Tweeted, “The Congress should not lose Sunil K Jakhar… (he) is an asset worth his weight in gold …. Any differences can be resolved on the table.”

Jakhar tears into Congress for not choosing him as the party’s chief ministerial candidate because he is Hindu

Notably, Jakhar had previously stated that he was not chosen as the party’s chief ministerial candidate because he is Hindu. He had also taken a dig at the party for the appointment of Charanjit Singh Channi as the chief minister of the state. Channi was appointed Punjab CM months ahead of the all-important Punjab assembly polls following the removal of Captain Amarinder Singh from the CM post.

Post his remarks, the party had removed Sunil Jakhar from all party positions. The decision came after the Congress Disciplinary Committee suggested on April 26 that former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sunil Jakhar be suspended for two years from the party.

The panel’s proposal to suspend Jakhar came after Punjab AICC in-charge Harish Chaudhary wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, drawing her attention to some of Jakhar’s remarks. Sonia Gandhi then referred Chaudhary’s letter to the Antony-led disciplinary action committee.

“You have made derogatory statements against Congress leaders and also attributed motives to the leadership of thinking on communal lines while deciding the leadership of CLP Punjab,” Tariq Anwar, member secretary of the disciplinary action committee, said in a show-cause notice issued in response to Chaudhary’s letter.

The notice further stated that Jhakar’s remarks were also found to be a blatant violation of the party’s ethos. “The committee deliberated and decided to give you an opportunity to explain your action and decided to issue (a) show cause notice (to you on) why action should not be taken as per the Party Constitution XIX(f)(5),” the notice read.

Soon after the recommendations of the Congress disciplinary panel, Jakhar wished his party “good luck” while refusing to share his own plans.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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