India, Feb. 24 -- Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar is not known for making off-the-cuff remarks.

When Jakhar announced on Monday that incumbent chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh will lead the party in next year's state assembly elections, it was an assertion by the state leadership. The statement, which came four days after he launched the "Captain for 2022" campaign on the day of the party's spectacular showing in the civic polls, is being seen as a pre-emptive move to checkmate the central leadership's efforts to rehabilitate former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu who quit the state cabinet in July 2019 following differences with Amarinder and is on the margins since. In the Congress, such announcements are...