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PPCC first meeting dogged by factionalism and absenteeism

Some loyalists of Amarinder, said to be upset with the re-organisation also gave the meeting a miss.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
May 18, 2016 8:07:15 am
congress, congress punjab, punjab congress, prashant kishor, prashant kishor punjab congress, amarinder, capt amarinder, congress amarinder, punjba news, india news According to sources in the Congress, an ongoing war amongst Amarinder’s coterie was the reason behind the dissatisfaction of quite a few members as each one considered the other to be more influential. (File/PTI Photo)

Days after ending their turf war in a press conference, state Congress chief Amarinder Singh and strategist Prashant Kishor arrived at the Congress Bhawan Tuesday for the newly reconstituted Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) meet in the same car.

However, several leaders chose to stay away from the meet. Former Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa and most of his loyalists, who were removed from their posts, were absent.

Some loyalists of Amarinder, said to be upset with the re-organisation also gave the meeting a miss.

General secretary in-charge Shakeel Ahmad, secretary Harish Choudhary, campaign committee in-charge Ambika Soni, senior V-P Lal Singh and former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal were in attendance.

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Apart from them, most of the members of party’s Majha Brigade comprising MLAs from Majha region were conspicuous by their absence. Dera Baba Nanak MLA, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who accompanied Amarinder to the US recently and another Captain loyalist and former CLP leader Sunil Kumar Jakhar were also not present in the meeting. While Randhawa’s phone attendant said he was busy with some public functions in his constituency, Jakhar is learnt to have said that he was preoccupied.

Even former MLA from Khadoor Sahib, Ramajit Singh Sikki, considering whose reluctance Amarinder agreed not to contest bypoll, was also absent citing a personal reason so was Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, who is currently abroad.

According to sources in the Congress, an ongoing war amongst Amarinder’s coterie was the reason behind the dissatisfaction of quite a few members as each one considered the other to be more influential.

But as the Delhi Municipal Corporation results which started pouring in during the meeting, came as a whiff of fresh air for the Congress. The sentiment changed filling the party rank and file with enthusiasm. Buoyed that Congress had managed to win 4 seats, Amarinder took a quick dig at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) by claiming that there days were over.

Later, Ahmad exhorted everyone to bury the differences and disappointment of not being named an office bearer and asked leaders to prepare for the general body meeting on May 30.

Ashok Prashar resigns

Congress leader Ashok Prashar Tuesday announced his resignation from the post of executive member which was given to him in the recently announced list of PPCC.

Prashar who had lost the 2012 assembly polls, have alleged that he has been demoted. “I was PPCC general secretary and now I have been made an executive member. All this has been done on behalf of MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, MLAs Surinder Dabur and Bharat Bhushan Ashu who are demoralising grassroot Congress workers like me.”

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