Patiala: Local leaders voice their dissent over induction of Dr Dharamvira Gandhi into Congress : The Tribune India

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Patiala: Local leaders voice their dissent over induction of Dr Dharamvira Gandhi into Congress

Patiala: Local leaders voice their dissent over induction of Dr Dharamvira Gandhi into Congress

Former MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi



Tribune News Service

Aman Sood

Patiala, April 1

Fissures in the Congress have come to the fore after the party high command inducted former MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi into the party fold in New Delhi.

‘Party loyalists feeling sidelined’

  • Local Congress leaders have openly voiced their dissent, claiming that the leadership “should trust” its own leaders and “not field turncoats”
  • Leaders, including former legislators Hardyal Singh Kamboj, Madan Lal Jalalpur and Rajinder Singh, have opposed the party ticket to an outsider
  • A senior leader said while turncoats were having a field day, those loyal to the party were feeling sidelined

Several local leaders, including two former MLAs and halqa in-charges, have openly voiced their dissent, claiming that the leadership “should trust” its own leaders and “not field turncoats”, who show up during the election season.

After Gandhi joined the Congress today in Delhi, there is dissent among local Congress leaders who have demanded that the party high command should not ignore its own leaders, “who have struggled a lot for the party”.

For the past few days, such leaders have held a couple of meetings and have also told the state Congress leadership, including Leader of the Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa, to consider only Congress leaders for the party ticket.

At another meeting held today, Congress leaders, including former MLAs Hardyal Singh Kambhoj, Madan Lal Jalalpur and Rajinder Singh, besides halqa in-charges Vishnu Sharma from Patiala and Darbara Singh from Shutrana opposed the party ticket to an outsider.

“The local Congress cadre is disheartened to know that someone from outside has been brought in just before the poll and is being considered for the party ticket from the Patiala Lok Sabha seat. This will not only hurt the party morale, but also demoralise workers,” said one of the leaders.

“There are many party leaders who have worked hard and were sure to win this seat for the party. However, suddenly trusting an outsider over its own leaders, who have been part of the Congress through thick and thin, defies all logic. We appeal to the Congress leadership to reconsider and allot the ticket to a party insider, who can take the party cadre together and win the seat,” said Kambhoj and Jalalpur after a meeting here today. “While we are disciplined party soldiers, the workers are not happy with the development,” they said.

Another senior leader said while turncoats were having a field day, those loyal to the party were feeling sidelined.

“Preneet Kaur, who remained the Congress face for the past over two decades in Patiala, is contesting on the BJP ticket. In this scenario, we should have trusted someone who can keep the Congress votes intact,” said a senior party leader.

In 2014, Dr Gandhi had contested as an AAP candidate and had defeated Congress stalwart Preneet Kaur by 20,942 votes. Dr Gandhi, who was later suspended by AAP for anti-party activities, had contested the 2019 General Election as a candidate of his newly floated political outfit — the Nava Punjab Party. However, Preneet Kaur wrested the seat by defeating Gandhi.

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