Monday, October 23, 2000,
 Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

PPCC poll process ‘hijacked’ to Delhi
From Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

BATHINDA, Oct 22 — The Congress party organisational election of Punjab has taken a new turn as a major section of senior leaders has decided to rush to Delhi tomorrow to ask the AICC President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, to make arrangements for the election of the president of the PPCC through democratic means.

The senior Congress leaders who held an informal meeting after attending the bhog ceremony of former Congress MLA and brother of Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Manjeet Singh Bhattal, at Bhattalan village have decided to wage a war against the election of president of PPCC through undemocratic means.

Sources said that former Chief Minister, Mrs Bhattal, would also rush to Delhi on Monday.

Two senior Congressmen talking to TNS on the condition of anonymity alleged that party election process had been hijacked to Delhi where the presidents of the PPCC and all 19 DCC units would be nominated, throwing all democratic norms to the wind.

Mr Jagmeet Brar, MP and senior vice-president, PPCC, had already met Ms Gandhi in this connection and urged her to ensure that party organisational elections should be held as per the constitution, starting from village level unit to the PPCC.

The Congressmen said that it was surprising that when the electoral college for electing PPCC members, president and other office-bearers, DCC presidents had not yet been constituted, who could the elections be held in Delhi.

Workers owing allegiance to Mr Brar and Mrs Bhattal said that Ms Gandhi would also be urged not to give prime posts in the state party units to those persons how had joined the Congress after leaving other parties. Only those working for the party for decades should be adjusted.

They pointed out that the nomination of the PPCC president, its members and other office-bearers directly without election would be cheating with the sentiments of 62,700 members of state unit who had the voting right.

Sources said that a tug-of-war was going on among the Congress leaders at Delhi and they had been holding secret meetings in a bid to outdo each other in the numbers game.

The section of party workers and leaders owing allegiance to PPCC president, Mr Amarinder Singh, however, alleged that a minor section of party men who had failed to make active members of the party when the recruitment drive was on were now raising an unnecessary hue and cry over the election process which was being done as per the norms laid in this regard.

They pointed out that a majority of the active workers of state were with Mr Amarinder Singh and his election as PPCC President was certainty.

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