A day after he was announced as the Punjab Congress president, party veteran Capt Amarinder Singh Saturday offered an olive branch to his bete noire and predecessor Partap Singh Bajwa. Amarinder called up Bajwa and having informed him about the party’s decision, is learnt to have urged him to bury the hatchet.
It is in stark contrast to when Bajwa took over from Amarinder. The Amritsar MP had been at loggerheads with Bajwa for the over two-year period that the latter remained at the helm.
The Bajwa camp is yet to confirm whether he will accept the offer of rapprochement. He has been bitter at the way Amarinder had launched a campaign calling for his ouster. In fact, towards the fag end of his tenure, Bajwa too had offered an olive branch to Amarinder but it was not accepted.
Bajwa has so far been maintained silence since Amarinder’s elevation. Sources close to Bajwa say the chances of a rapprochement are bleak. The duo were once close, with Bajwa having served in Amarinder’s Cabinet.
To take over in Bathinda
Amarinder will take over as the Punjab Congress president at a public rally in Bathinda, the date for which will be announced soon. Senior party leaders who met Amarinder in New Delhi on Saturday have settled for Bathinda as a venue as a large number of people are expected to attend the function and the PCC complex in Chandigarh cannot accommodate a huge crowd. Capt Amarinder is expected to visit Amritsar before that and pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir and Swami Ramtirath there on December 2.