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Jagmeet Brar’s brother suspended from Cong
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, continues to crack the whip against leaders who are allegedly violating party discipline. Today, he suspended Mr Ripujit Singh Brar, brother of the Congress Working Committee member, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, from the primary membership of the party for “anti-party” activities.

Sources said Mr Dullo had also decided to hand over the cases of two Ministers — Mr Surinder Singla and Mr Partap Singh Bajwa — and one Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS), Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, to the disciplinary committee which would be constituted in a week. The sources said one of the Ministers had already submitted his reply to the show-cause notice which was served on him for allegedly violating party discipline. Two others have sought more time to reply to the show-cause notice. The Ministers and the CPS had issued statements against Mr Jagmeet Brar.

Mr Dullo, the sources said, had also decided to hand over the cases of three supporters of Mr Jagmeet Brar — Mr Harry Mann, Mr Kulbir Singh Bathinda and Mr Tara Singh Sandhu — to the proposed disciplinary committee. A few days ago, these three leaders were suspended from the primary membership of the party by Mr Dullo for violating party discipline. The sources said Mr Dullo would treat all those violating party discipline on a par and would not play the game of any particular group. There are several groups in the party led by different leaders.

The sources said Mr Ripujit Singh Brar, a former Chairman of a Punjab Government undertaking, had been suspended because he had led a delegation of supporters of his brother to Delhi to meet leaders of the party high command against the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. The sources said there was nothing wrong as far as leading the delegation to meet the party high command was concerned. However, the leaking of what transpired at the meeting to the media, allegedly by Mr Ripujit Singh Brar, was not liked by Mr Dullo.

Besides, a representation given to the party high command by Mr Ripujit Singh Brar and others against Capt Amarinder Singh was also leaked to the media. Mr Dullo as well as the party high command took serious note of it and because of this reason action had been taken against Mr Ripujit Singh Brar, the sources added.

Yesterday, Mr Dullo had got removed the Punjab Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, who had recently made a hard-hitting statement against him (Dullo). Mr Dullo was present today at Punjab Congress Bhavan here. A good number of party MLAs came to meet him at the bhavan. Obviously, Mr Dullo has conveyed the message to all concerned that he also matters as far as managing the affairs of the ruling party is concerned.

The sources said the party high command would clear the list of new office-bearers of the Punjab Congress Committee in a day or so. Mr Dullo had proposed changes in the organisation at several levels. A new president of the Punjab unit of the Youth Congress is also expected to be appointed.



Congress for stern action against Punjab leaders
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 20
The Congress leadership has made it abundantly clear that it will not hesitate to crack the whip on squabbling party men in Punjab if they persist with their infighting.
With Assembly elections slated for early next year, dissident activity in the state unit has picked up pace in recent weeks and the AICC has not taken too kindly to this open show of defiance and indiscipline. They have been told to resolve their differences and work unitedly for the upcoming polls.

This was evident when the Congress central leadership gave its tacit approval for the removal of the state’s Chief Parliamentary Secretary Malkiat Singh Birmi yesterday, the AICC today gave the go-ahead to the PPCC to suspend Ripjit Singh, brother of dissident leader Jagmeet Singh Brar, who has raised a banner of revolt against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Mr Brar had hit out against the Amarinder Singh government over its proposed joint venture with Reliance Industries while his brother led a group of supporters to the AICC last week to demand the Chief Minister’s removal. Mr Birmi had attacked PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo.

Mr Brar was pulled up by the AICC for speaking out of turn following which he had submitted a two-page explanatory note to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Mr Janardan Dwivedi, AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab. Similarly, explanations were also sought from three state ministers, Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, Mr Surinder Singla and Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, who were involved in a public spat with Mr Brar.

Following his brother’s suspension, Mr Brar rushed to the Capital today and met Mr Dwivedi to give his side of his story. The former MP explained that the submission of a memorandum to the party leadership should not be construed as “indiscipline” and that party workers were well within their right to voice their grievances. Mr Brar now plans to meet Ms Gandhi and other senior leaders like Mr Ahmed Patel, Mr Oscar Fernandes and Mr Arjun Singh to explain his position.

Stating that dissident activity will not be tolerated, AICC leaders maintained that indiscipline would not go unpunished. Mr Brar’s brother and his supporters, who were to be accommodated in the reconstituted PPCC, will have to sit out after their show of defiance.



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