Thursday, July 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

New PCC chiefs by July 15
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 10
The announcement of new PCC chiefs in Haryana and Punjab is being delayed because these have apparently become part of the countrywide organisational revamp being planned by the Congress high command.

AICC sources said the party might declare changes in several state units in the next few days. Apart from Haryana and Punjab, the states where PCC chiefs might be replaced were Gujarat and Jharkhand. The announcements were likely to be made by July 15.

The delay in decision was keeping the aspirants on the tenterhooks with many of them visiting the party general secretaries and CWC members to bolster their cases. AICC sources said Congress workers and DCC chiefs from Punjab today met the AICC General Secretary, Ms Mohsina Kidwai, who was in charge of Punjab, to press for continuation of Capt Amarinder Singh as PCC chief.

While a former PCC chief, Mr Virender Kataria, had met the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi and Ms Kidwai earlier, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP, and Mr H.S. Hanspal met Ms Kidwai today.

The sources said Mr Dullo assured Ms Kidwai that he would take along all sections of the party and strive for a balance. He denied reports of any differences with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and assured that any problem being faced by him would be brought to the notice of the high command. The sources said Mr Dullo emphasised the importance of forging a Dalit-Jat combination in the state. Mr Dullo said he had been a loyal party worker and had worked closely with Mr Beant Singh.

The sources said there was a view in the high command that the PCC Chief should be from the minority community which had supported the Congress in the Assembly election. There was feeling at the AICC that a member from the minority community would send the right message and help keep the urban votes away from the BJP in the next Lok Sabha poll.

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