In a major boost to Congress' Gurdaspur candidate Partap Singh Bajwa two influential rebels rejoined the party in presence of AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed on Wednesday.
Former Pathankot MLA Ashok Sharma and Naresh Puri, son of Congress stalwart Raghunath Sahai Puri, had left the party after denial of tickets in the 2012 assembly polls and had contested as Independents. Though they lost, they became the major reason behind the Congress' defeat in Pathankot and Sujanpur due to their strong hold.
Ahmed said his endevour would be to facilitate the return of the loyal Congress leaders, who had left the party over denial of tickets during the last assembly elections.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary was joined by a battery of party leaders, including Bajwa, Youth Congress president Vikram Chaudhary, Raman Behl, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, district Congress president Anil Vij, Punjab Congress vice-president (women wing) Anu Bhalla and others.
"I will go to every angry party leader; as Congress is a family and in a family such incidents occur, but the family members remain family members,"he said while replying to questions of reporter.
When asked whether the allotment of tickets during the assembly polls were mistaken, Ahmed said everybody could not be adjusted, admitting that sometime some wrong decisions are taken that damages the party tally.
"However, our best team is in fray this Lok Sabha elections and we hope to win all seats"he said.
Coming down heavily on BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Ahmed said Modi was painting and presenting a wrong picture of Gujarat, which stands on the 10th position.
He also criticized the SAD BJP combine for "throwing tax bags on the urban residents"and "grabbing business from cable to earth minerals.
Bajwa, meanwhile, claimed that the SAD was looting the state, while the BJP was acting like a deaf and dumb on queries.
Bajwa said as Modi was presenting a rosy picture of Gujarat, Sukhbir Badal was also telling a bundle of lies to befool the people.
He said he would soon share with the people that in the recent meet with business tycoons of India under "Progressive Punjab", Sukhbir could not get an assurance for any project in Punjab, except expression of interest which could not be considered as a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
"Everything has become clear - no big company has signed any MoU with Punjab - as claimed by our deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal,"he added.
Bajwa set to file papers tomorrow
Pathankot: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Partap Singh Bajwa set to file his nomination papers for the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency on March 4.
He told Hindustan Times that he was sure of his victory as he was a local and understood their problems, while the BJP candidate was an outsider who remained away most of the time - even when he was an MP from Gurdaspur.