Congress divided house in Patiala post Capt Amarinder Singh exit

Congress divided house in Patiala post Capt Amarinder Singh exit

With Capt Amarinder Singh floating a new party, factionalism seems to have emerged in the Congress, which has already been facing fissures and rebellion. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Aman Sood

Patiala, January 22

As leaders led by their political godfathers continue to test the loyalties of workers, the Congress seems to be divided in its stronghold of Patiala.

With Capt Amarinder Singh floating a new party, factionalism seems to have emerged in the Congress, which has already been facing fissures and rebellion.

Won’t make much impact

The Capt faction will not make much impact in Patiala. Barring a few workers, not many will support him. His disconnect with workers is the prime reason. Madan Lal Jalalpur, Cong MLA

Just a few weeks ahead of the elections, Capt Amarinder and his family members, who till recently were canvassing for the Congress have switched sides to the new outfit formed by the former CM — Punjab Lok Congress — avowedly “to serve the public”.

District Congress president KK Malhotra, Mayor Sanjeev Sharma, PRTC chairman KK Sharma and around two dozen councillors have quit the Congress to ensure victory for the Captain faction, which will field candidates in an understanding with the BJP.

The royal family has been nurturing the Congress in Patiala for the past over two decades, winning seven seats out of the total eight falling in the district in 2017. Senior party leaders say even if no one wants to openly accept the fact that Capt Amarinder was the main reason for the Congress’ victories on these seats, his “exodus with supporters will surely harm the party prospects”.

“A leader of Captain’s stature along with his MP wife Preneet Kaur has the acumen to not only give a tough fight, but also win seats for their candidates,” says a senior Congress leader. “With a few weeks to go before the voting happens, the Congress is yet to find a big name to replace him in the Patiala urban seat,” he adds.

With a five-way contest among the Congress, SAD-BSP, BJP-PLC-SAD (Sanyukt), Sanyukt Samaj Morcha and Aam Aadmi Party on the cards, the choices are many and victory margins are likely to shrink.

Last week, a few councillors revolted against Cabinet Minister Brahm Mohindra from Patiala and Patiala rural. Narinder Lalli, who was recently made the party’s Patiala urban president, said the Congress’ local leaders had passed a resolution on the matter. “We will write to the Congress high command that they should give ticket to anyone, but Mohindra.”

Already the Patiala Municipal Corporation is a divided house after a faction led by Mayor Sanjeev Kumar Sharma quit the Congress to join the Captain’s new outfit.

Claiming that the Captain faction will not make much impact in Patiala, senior Congress leader Madan Lal Jalalpur, a sitting Ghanaur MLA, says barring a few workers, not many will support Captain.

“Captain’s disconnect with workers is the prime reason. Usually in all constituencies, workers got their works done through the local MLA,” he says, adding the institution is always bigger than an individual and “Capt Amarinder will realise this in the upcoming polls”.

Key leaders jump ship

District Congress chief KK Malhotra, Mayor Sanjeev Sharma, PRTC chairman KK Sharma and two dozen councillors have quit the party and joined Captain faction

#CaptAmarinderSingh #Punjabpolls2022

Tribune Shorts


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