Congress gets into huddle, weighs Moosewala impact

May field singer’s father Balkaur Singh, say sources

Congress gets into huddle, weighs Moosewala impact

Tribune News Service

Rajmeet Singh

Chandigarh, June 3

With three days left for the filing of nominations for the Sangrur byelection, the Congress has gone into a huddle to zero in on the party candidate.

Buzz over two leaders joining BJP

Days after former PCC chief Sunil Jakhar joined the BJP, there is buzz in the Congress over at least two senior party leaders, including a Dalit face from Majha, likely to join the saffron party. With Amit Shah arriving in Chandigarh on Saturday, there are chances the joining may happen in his presence or sometime later in Delhi.

After the initial round of meetings, the party leadership is having a review of the political scenario after the murder of singer and party leader Sidhu Moosewala, amid sentiment among people in Mansa against the AAP government. Punjab affairs incharge Harish Chaudhary has been camping in Chandigarh to finalise the candidate.

Sources in the party said a large section of leaders was interested in nominating singer’s father Balkaur Singh as the party candidate. “PCC chief Raja Warring, who is close to the family, is learnt to have discussed it within the party. But is not final yet,” said sources, adding party was assessing the possible impact effect of Moosewala’s death on the byelections.

The names of Dhuri ex-MLA Dalvir Singh Goldy, his wife Simrat Kaur Khangura, ex-minister Vijay Inder Singla are already under consideration.

Sardara Singh Johl, a known agricultural economist, in a Facebook post said: “The murder of Moosewala is unfortunate and painful. The society lost a forceful and popular voice. It is a cultural loss. Yet the loss for the parents is unimaginable and cannot be compensated. I feel it may be a bit helpful consolation if Moosewala’s father is persuaded to be elected in the byelection to Parliament from the Sangrur constituency unopposed.”

CLP leader Partap Bajwa supported Johl’s suggestion, saying if singer’s father could be persuaded to contest the polls, all national forces must unite behind him.

With the AAP banking on ‘aam aadmi’ symbolism in fielding Gurmail Singh, a volunteer and district incharge of Sangrur, on the seat vacated by CM Bhagwant Mann, the Congress will factor this in while finalising the name. Tomorrow’s visit by Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah and likely announcement of their party candidate was also being watched.

Meanwhile, the Congress’ effort to call an all-party meeting today on the law and order situation fizzled out as the SAD and BJP backed out. Warring said: “Despite urgent nature of Punjab’s law and order and giving their initial consent, the SAD and BJP for reasons best known to them have sought postponement of the meeting”.

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