Tuesday, November 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Sonia clears PPCC list
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
After deliberations with senior Congress leaders, party President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, has cleared the list of office-bearers and members of the executive of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).

Party sources told this correspondent on the phone from Delhi that the list might be handed over to Mr H.S. Hanspal, President of the PPCC, in a day or two. It was expected to be released by Mr Hanspal before the end of the month.

The changes have been made because a large number of office-bearers have become other MLAs or have been adjusted in government positions. Capt Amarinder Singh, who was the President of the PPCC, had to make way for Mr Hanspal, after becoming the Chief Minister. The sources said sticking to the “one-person, one-post” principle, the high command had not approved the name of any MLA or any other person holding government position for the organisational set up. However, certain Congress leaders, who were defeated in the last Assembly elections, have been given important positions in the organisation.

The high command had preferred to induct young blood and a substantial number of women into the set up, it was learnt. When contacted, Mr Hanspal told TNS on the phone from Delhi that he would return to Punjab tomorrow. He said he would release the list after his return. He, however, refused to give further details. The sources said there might be two senior vice-presidents, eight vice-presidents, 12 general-secretaries and an equal number of secretaries, besides executive members. Mr Baldev Singh Kang was likely to be appointed Treasurer. Leaders like Mr Upinder Sharma, Mr Ishar Singh, Mr Ram Pal Daipi, Mr Dharmpal Sabharwal, Ms Ratna, Mrs Malti Thapar, Ms Jasvinder Kaur were likely to be given important party positions.

The sources said the total number of the officer-bearers would be around 51. Earlier, the number was nearby 100. The high command had, by and large, accepted the list submitted by Mr Hanspal and had made only a few changes, on its own. It had included the names of certain women leaders, besides adding certain young faces.

The sources said after making the list of new officer-bearers public, the changes at the district and block levels would be made. A number of presidents of the district units would be replaced. Already, Mr K.K. Bawa, and Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, heads of the Ludhiana district (urban and rural) units had been told to send their resignations to Mr Hanspal.

The two leaders had failed to properly organise a party function at Ludhiana on November 18 and Mr Hanspal, who was the chief guest at the function, had to cut a sorry figure at the venue and return to Circuit House without taking part in the proceedings.

The sources said it would take two months to make changes at the district and block levels.

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