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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Bajwa appointment creates buzz of shake-up in Cong

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 08, 2013
First Published: 00:31 IST(8/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:46 IST(8/3/2013)

Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa's appointment as the Punjab Congress president marks the apparent beginning of the much-delayed organisational shake-up across states where the party hopes to put its house in order.

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The party has makeshift arrangements in many states where party chiefs had submitted their resignations to Congress president Sonia Gandhi several months ago but are still continuing on the posts as the leadership was yet to find replacements.

Bihar Congress president Mehboob Ali Kaiser had resigned soon after the party's debacle in 2010 assembly elections but he continues to hold the charge.

Similarly, uncertainty prevails in Gujarat, where Arjun Modhwadia had put in his papers after the party's poor performance in last year's assembly polls in Uttarakhand, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura. The Mumbai Regional Congress Committee is headless since the resignation of Kripashankar Singh in February last year.

Sources said the delay in decision-making is affecting the party functioning in these states as incumbent party chiefs are not sure of their continuance.

The talk of removing Captain Amarinder Singh had been going on since last year's assembly polls in which the Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and let the incumbent Akali Dal rewrite history by retaining power. But the decision appeared to have been precipitated by the party's defeat in Moga by-poll.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who had earlier broken the party tradition by announcing Amarinder as the party's chief ministerial candidate in the midst of polls, is learnt to have played a leading role in Bajwa's appointment.

After Amarinder, the axe is all set to fall on Punjab in-charge Gulchain Singh Charak, a lightweight from J&K whose induction in the powerful CWC had surprised many in the party. Many Punjab leaders had blamed Charak for fuelling factionalism in the state and also held him equally responsible for the party's debacle in 2012 polls.

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