The Congress party is all set for a change of guard at the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) after 14 years of a single man managing its affairs. The president of the CTCC BB Bahl will go and the only question remains on his replacement and the timing with former union ministers Pawan Bansal and Manish Tewari lobbying to install their own candidates to the seat.
Party affairs in-charge for Chandigarh Shakeel Ahmad has written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to take the final call.
The letter states, “CTCC president BB Bahl has served for a long term and there is need of change in the organisation as the party has become inactive in the city for several months.”
Bahl is getting on
Bahl (80) became the CTCC president in May 2000 and his performance has come under intense scrutiny, since former MP Pawan Bansal lost the Lok Sabha elections in May. There has also also been a reduction in party activities in the city since.
As per sources, names making the rounds from Bansal’s camp are former mayor and party spokesperson, Pardeep Chhabra; Pawan Sharma, the current CTCC vice-president; former mayor Ravinder Pal Singh Pali and district president (urban-1), Harmohinder Singh Lucky.
Tewari, who reportedly wants to prepare the ground for a shot at a party ticket during the next Lok Sabha elections, is backing former councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma, sources said.
However, Ahmad told HT, “We will decide on the issue after the Haryana assembly elections.”
“I will honour the decision of party high-command and will welcome the appointment of a young face. I am a devoted Congressman and will cooperate with the party,” said Bahl.
CTCC vice-president Darshan Dayal Jindal said, “It is unfortunate that after Bansal’s defeat in May, the party has not organised even a single meeting. Party activities have simply stopped,” he said.
Former councillor Bhupinder Singh Badheri, one of the applicants for a Congress ticket during the Lok Sabha elections, said: “One of the reasons for defeat was that the party did not revamp the organisation for years. I fail to understand the logic behind Bansal sticking to his seat.”