File Photo: AFP
Chandigarh: Shortly after the Congress announced Charanjit Singh Channi's name as its chief ministerial candidate for the February 20 Punjab Assembly election on Sunday, the BJP said it will make no difference to the grand old party's poll prospects.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also took jibes at the ruling party in the state over the announcement.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi declared Channi as his party's chief ministerial face for the high-stakes Punjab polls.
Gandhi made the announcement while addressing a virtual rally from Ludhiana, where state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu hailed the party's decision to appoint Channi to the top post following Amarinder Singh's unceremonious exit as the Punjab chief minister last September.
Reacting to the Congress's announcement, Union minister and BJP in-charge for Punjab Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said it will not make any difference to the fate of the party that is already "doomed".
In a statement, Shekhawat said, "The Congress party is in a state of ruins owing to mis-governance, rampant corruption and internal squabbling and not even a miracle can save it now."
"The Congress is doomed beyond redemption and announcing someone as the chief ministerial face can never redeem the fate of the party," he said while claiming that the infighting in the party will further get intensified after the announcement.
"Not only the opposition parties, even some Congress leaders are saying it in public about the corruption is prevailing in their government," Shekhawat said.
The AAP and the SAD hit out at Channi over the recent Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids, leading to the arrest of his nephew.
"The nomination of @CharanjitChanni as Cong's CM face is sand mafia's victory. Shockingly, the mafia has prevailed on Cong high command & foisted its candidate. Pbis will see through this move to strengthen loot & corruption in Pb, and give a befitting response to Cong on Feb 20 (sic)," SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said in a tweet.
The state unit chief and the chief ministerial face of the AAP in Punjab Bhagwant Mann, in a statement, said "the decision of the Congress has proved that it wants to rob Punjab again as it did earlier as it has chosen a person whose image is tainted".
He said it is inexplicable that the Congress is claiming that Channi is from a humble background "as relatives of the chief minister drive luxury cars and one has been caught with piles of ill-gotten money".
Mann said Channi is saying he has been the chief minister for three months and his performance will get votes for the Congress.
"But he should not forget that he is the chief minister of the Congress's 59-month government and had been a minister in Captain's (Amarinder Singh's) cabinet," Mann said.
Taking a jibe on Channi's statement that he will not buy any property in his or his wife's name, the AAP leader said "by giving everything to his sons and nephews, Channi cannot mislead the people of Punjab, who will see right through his lies". PTI