January 25, 2015 3:54:22 am
While the Congress high command is yet to react to Amritsar MP Capt Amarinder Singh’s demand — seeking replacement of Partap Singh Bajwa as the state party president — the MP showed his clout within the Punjab Congress as his loyalists helped him put on a massive show of strength at his Lalkar rally in Amritsar on Saturday.
The rally was supposed to be against problem of drug menace in the state but with the ongoing feud in the Punjab Congress, between Bajwa and Amarinder, focus had shifted on the legislators and Congress leaders who would attend the event, that did not have the stamp of the state Congress unit. Of the 43 Congress MLAs in Punjab, over 30 sitting legislators were present in Amritsar on Saturday. The Amarinder camp in a release claimed 35 sitting MLAs turned up. An equal number of former MLAs and prominent leaders like MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, Amarinder’s wife and former MP Preneet Kaur also turned up for the rally, the venue of which was packed to capacity by the time Amarinder arrived at about 1 pm.
Bajwa has been maintaining that the rally did not have the backing of party high command. The posters, however, prominently displayed photos of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Affairs incharge of Congress Shakeel Ahmad, Secretary-incharge Harish Chaudhary and leader of opposition in Punjab, Sunil Jakhar, along with Amarinder. PPCC chief Bajwa’s photo was nowhere to be found.
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