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Captain asks Cong top brass to promote only competent people

chandigarh Updated: May 30, 2014 11:31 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times
New Delhi

Amid the talk of an impending reshuffle in the Congress after the poll debacle, former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday said Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should promote only “competent people” in the larger interests of the organisation.

“Only competent persons would command trust, respect and confidence of other party leaders and workers,” he said while urging the leadership to go for a blend of young and experienced in the next party reshuffle.

Amarinder also suggested that the role of general secretaries should be redefined.

“A general secretary acts as a bridge between state units and the Congress high command. The person must have good experience of organisational affairs and should have held the post of a chief minister, a union minister or a state president at some point of time in the party,” he said.

The party’s worst drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls has put several general secretaries in the line of fire. The party failed to open its account in 13 states.

Though Amarinder’s remarks could widely be interpreted as his desire to occupy a key party post at the central level, sources close to him suggested that “given a choice he would prefer” the PCC chief ’s post, a position he held till last year.

The Amritsar MP said an AICC secretary should also have some organisational experience and held at least the post of a district president in his political career.

Praising Congress general secretary in-charge of Punjab Shakeel Ahmed for his “competence and deft handling” of party affairs, Amarinder was critical of AICC secretary Harish Choudhary.

“He may be around 40 while I have an experience of 47 years in politics. Do you think someone like him should dictate terms to me?”

Amarinder again sought the resignation of Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa for the poor poll show. “It’s not about Bajwa but following party tradition and convention. We have performed so badly in Punjab despite the strong anti-incumbency against the state government and nobody is prepared to take the responsibility,” he said.

Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday termed the large-scale reshuffling of the state’s bureaucracy as a vindictive step by the Badal government against the officers in the wake of the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.

“It looks the Badals are trying to vent their anger against the bureaucracy instead of doing introspection,” Amarinder said in a statement here, asking chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to “better learn to govern as merely shuffling the officers is not going to make a difference.”