Chandigarh, March 6
Days ahead of the Assembly election results, Ludhiana MP Ravneet Bittu has hit out at Punjab Congress leaders who refrained from campaigning for party nominees.
“Senior leaders who have been appointed to different positions in the party or the government did not step out of their constituencies. This shows their commitment to the party. Come March 10, I will name all such leaders,” Bittu told The Tribune today.
Commitment or lack of it
Senior leaders who have been appointed to different positions in the party or the government did not step out of their constituencies. This shows their commitment to the party. When it comes to enjoying power, they are at the forefront. Ravneet Bittu, Ludhiana member of parliament
He noted, “When it comes to enjoying power, they are at the forefront.”
The unease in the party over differences among senior leaders is palpable. Leaders have been giving statements that actions of a section of senior leaders have damaged party’s prospects to return to power.
In the run-up to the elections, Congress MPs had to be mobilised to campaign for party nominees. Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi flew across the state to campaign for candidates.
The differences among leaders had emerged after Rahul Gandhi had named Channi as the CM face of the Congress.
“The party is hoping that the Channi card will do the trick and bring the party back to power. The election results will reveal whether or not all leaders stood behind Channi,” said a senior party leader.
Recently, Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari had targeted state Congress leaders, claiming that senior leaders were missing in action as thousands of Indian students, including those from Punjab, were stuck in war-torn Ukraine.
Rajya Sabha member Shamsher Singh Dullo recently sought a probe into alleged conspiracy to sideline traditional Congress men while distributing tickets for the elections.
“Many traditional Congress leaders have been forced to leave the party or sit at home because of wrong distribution of tickets,” Dullo had said, blaming Punjab affairs in charge Harish Chaudhary, CM Channi and the screening committee for the selection of candidates.
He cited the example of senior leaders HS Hanspal, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Raman Behl, Malkit Singh Dakha, Jagmohan Singh Kang, Amrik Dhillon, Joginder Singh Mann, Kewal Dhillon, Harminder Jassi, KK Bawa and Daman Bajwa. Most of them have either joined other parties or sitting at home in protest.
To lodge his protest and seek a probe, Dullo had said the party would face the consequences for “sidelining and insulting” traditional Congress leaders.
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