M A I N   N E W S

Beleaguered Capt faces the axe
Partap Bajwa, Jagmeet Brar Punjab Cong chief probables
Anita Katyal/TNS

String of debacles

In the Assembly polls, the Congress failed to dislodge the incumbent Akali government
The Congress was subsequently obliterated in the local bodies' elections
The party’s humiliating defeat in the Dasuya bypoll has provided fresh impetus to the ‘oust-Amarinder’ calls

New Delhi, July 16
Having failed to deliver in a string of elections, beleaguered president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) Amarinder Singh is set to be replaced, authoritative party sources said today.

Although the change has been on the cards since the shock defeat of the Congress in the Assembly polls, it could happen sooner than later. Party president Sonia Gandhi will focus on organisational matters once the presidential election is over. The leadership changes in the state units of Punjab, Haryana, Bihar and Mumbai are said to be on her priority list.

Party sources said the new Punjab Congress chief will necessarily have to be a Jat Sikh. Partap Singh Bajwa and Jagmeet Brar are among the names being mentioned as probable contenders.

The state Congress unit has been in turmoil ever since the Assembly polls when the party failed to dislodge the incumbent Akali government. Holding Amarinder Singh responsible for the party’s dismal performance, the PPCC chief’s detractors raised a banner of revolt to press for a leadership change. However, he got a temporary reprieve with the party’s Central leadership deciding that Amarinder Singh would continue to hold the post till the civic elections.

The demand for Amarinder’s ouster was revived after the Congress was literally obliterated in the local bodies' elections though the PPCC chief blamed the results on the reign of terror unleashed by the SAD-BJP combine. The party’s humiliating defeat in the Dasuya bypoll has provided fresh ammunition to the dissidents who have again drawn the attention of the Congress leadership to the disarray in the state unit of the party and sought immediate corrective measures.

The series of electoral defeats has demoralised party workers who point out that if urgent steps were not taken to revamp the state unit, it would be difficult to face the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.





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