Thursday, October 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Steps to keep PPCC united
All factions get share in electoral college

From T. R. Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, OCT 25 — The Punjab Pradesh Congress election authority has completed the process of organisation elections in the state. It has endeavoured to reconcile the interests of all sections in Punjab as the first step in uniting all factions and ensuring cohesiveness in the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).

The strength of the electoral college of the PPCC now stands at 240, including 209 duly elected delegates from the block level. The PPCC electoral college also comprises a quota of six from the elected MLAs, four chiefs of the state’s party organisation who completed one year in that capacity and presidents of all 21 districts.

Discriminating Congress leaders have been keeping their fingers crossed that the party’s organisation elections will end the fractious politics in the state and set the stage for facing the challenge of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP combine.

A sincere effort has been made to reconcile the sharp differences in PPCC’s electoral college from the block to the district levels. An indication of accommodating various points of view to the maximum possible is being reflected in former PPCC presidents being roped in provided they have served in that capacity for 365 days.

Consequently, Capt Amarinder Singh as the incumbent PPCC president along with three of his predecessors — Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, MLA, Mohinder Singh Gill and Hans Raj Sharma will be the newly elected members/delegates of the PPCC as per the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Congress party.

At the same time there are those inimical to the stewardship of the PPCC by Capt Amarinder Singh, performing the job of prophets of doom. Clearly, party organisational elections not only in Punjab but elsewhere are bound to cause some heartburn.

Sources insist that these minuscule dissidents will not be able to turn the rising tide of discontent against the misrule of Mr Badal’s coalition government in Punjab.

The Congress organisational elections in Punjab has been primarily to shake up the party’s rank and file from its slumber and start preparing for the assembly elections in the state in 2002. Congress strategists express confidence as is only to be expected that they enjoy more than just a good chance of regaining power in Punjab.

Sources allude to what they describe as the unique composition of Punjab’s electoral college which in their opinion will strengthen the Congress. While ensuring continuity in the PPCC leadership, there are quite a few new faces in the party organisation’s electoral college which has infused much needed blend of youth and experience.

Judging by the stakes in the medium to long term perspective, the PPCC has adopted the path of accommodation with the objective of putting in place a well-oiled election machine. Due consultations have also been held with past and present MPs from Punjab for a consensual approach and strike out the discordant notes.

After the election for the Congress president next month, 32 others will be roped in the PPCC electoral college with voting rights. And in keeping with the directive of the Congress high command, these additional 32 members will have one-third representation of women.

Further, six Congress legislators have been nominated members of the PPCC to the INC. They are R.C. Dogra, Harmohinder Singh, Harbans Lal, Harminder Singh Jassi, Avtar Singh and Amrik Singh Dhillon.

The PPC election authority comprised of Mr Sultan Singh, who is the returning officer. Abrar Ahmed and Chakrawarty Sharma are the members of the PPC election authority. 

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