M A I N   N E W S

Amarinder, Bajwa slug it out
Amarjit Thind & Sushil Goyal/TNS

Ghabdan Kothi (Sangrur), October 10
Infighting within the Punjab Congress came to the fore in the presence of AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi here on Thursday when party state unit chief Partap Bajwa snubbed former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for not presenting a united face.

Rahul was the chief guest at a party rally and stone-laying ceremony of the PGI satellite centre in the Malwa belt here.

That all was not well became evident when Amarinder skipped Bajwa’s name in his address. Seemingly stung, Bajwa minced no words to lash out at Amarinder in the speech that followed. The game of upmanship between Amarinder and Bajwa, who succeeded him as the state Congress chief, has been going on for some months now.

Only minutes before, Amarinder -- amid thunderous applause from the audience -- had done what he does best: Badal bashing. His inimitable oratory style and the fact that he was at a rally after a seven-month gap was enough for his followers to cheer him at every point he made. “Asi aaye taan enna (Badals and Akalis) nu lammey pavange (when we come to power, we will pin the Badals and Akalis down),” he declared.

Exhorting the people to vote for the party in the forthcoming parliamentary polls, he said the return of the Congress was a must to teach the Akalis a lesson and ensure a better future for our people. Amarinder also urged Rahul to bring an ordinance that would ensure drug dealers remained behind bars forever.

And then came Bajwa. Targeting Amarinder’s remarks, he said the party would first have to win the elections and then think about settling scores with the Akalis. “Pehlan aapan election tan jitt laiye, pher aapan mann lavange ke asi ohna nu lamme paun de kabal han. Hale tan saade workers hi lamme pai rehe ne (first let’s win the elections, then we will consider ourselves capable of pinning them down. Right now, we are at the receiving end).”





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