Ex-mayor front runner for city's Cong unit head

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Dec 29, 2014 10:06 IST

After 14 long years, the Chandigarh Congress is all set to get a new head. The new president is expected to be declared by January 15.

The party unit has proposed four names — former mayor and Congress spokesperson Pardeep Chhabra, former Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh Pali, district president (urban-1) Harmohinder Singh Lucky and current Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president vice-president Pawan Sharma for the post. The list has been sent to party president Sonia Gandhi for her decision.

Sources said that Pardeep Chhabra, whose name was proposed by former union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, is a front runner for the post.

The move came as fallout of the Lok Sabha polls, when the party witnessed the defeat of its candidate Pawan Bansal to BJP’s Kirron Kher. Congress had lost in all 26 wards.

Many in the party blamed the defeat on the party’s current president BB Bahl (80), along with Bansal. Bahl became president in May 2000. Discontent brewed among party leaders, who felt that party activities had taken a back seat since the party’s defeat.

Former councillor Bhupinder Singh Badheri, who has also hoped to contest the general elections through a Congress seat, said, “The Congress is losing its sheen in city after the Lok Sabha defeat. The city unit needs a president who can completely revamp the organisation and can connect with grass root level workers also.”

In September this year, Shakeel Ahmed, who is in-charge of the party affairs for Chandigarh, had written a letter to Gandhi calling for a change of the head of the Chandigarh unit, stating that “there is dire need of change in the organization as the party from past several months has become inactive in city.” Speaking to HT, Ahmed said, “We are hoping that new President’s name will be declared by mid- January.”

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