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Two raps: 1 each for Brar and Amarinder
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 27
With the Assembly elections in Punjab barely a few months away, a worried Congress leadership was forced to step in today as the ongoing factional battle in the state party unit continues to simmer.

Former Lok Sabha Member Jagmeet Singh Brar, a known critic of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, was pulled up by Mr Janardan Dwivedi, AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab, for openly speaking out against the state leadership. Mr Brar was specifically told to refrain from going public with his criticism and to work closely with other state leaders for next year’s election.

Similarly, Mr Amarinder Singh was asked to stamp out factionalism in the state unit and forge a united front in view of the upcoming crucial Assembly poll. The Chief Minister, it is learnt, had sought an appointment with Congress President Sonia Gandhi to complain about Mr Brar but was unable to meet her because of her packed schedule.

This is not the first time that the warring Punjab Congress leaders have been asked to put aside their personal differences and present a united face to the electorate. There was brief lull in the internal wrangling but this truce proved to be temporary as Mr Brar has again launched a public attack against his bete noire.

He had said at a recent public meeting that Capt Amarinder Singh should contest against the Akali Dal leader Prakash Singh Badal in order to prove his popularity. At another time, he spoke of projecting a Dalit as the next Chief Minister.

Mr. Dwivedi who, it is learnt, also told him that it is not for him but for the party leadership to take all these decisions ticked off Mr Brar for these statements.

On his part, Mr Brar had a long list of grievances against the Chief Minister. He complained about Capt Amarinder Singh’s unilateral style of functioning and his inability to involve other state leaders in his ongoing Vikas Yatra which, according to him, was alienating party workers.

He also objected to the induction of former Akali Dal members into the Congress, stating that this had demoralised party cadres.

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