With Gursimran Singh Mand, vice-chairman, local bodies cell, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), submitting a complaint against PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa and his close aide Ishwarjot Singh Cheema to the Ludhiana police commissioner, the rift in the Congress has further widened.
Cheema was recently elevated to the post of chairman, PPCC economic and political planning cell.
Mand, in his complaint, has categorically accused Bajwa and Cheema of having intimidated him as he, along with other Congressmen, was staging a protest against Bajwa during his visit to Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Requesting the police commissioner to provide him security, Mand accused Cheema of having repeatedly called on his phone and threatening him. He said Bajwa and Cheema should be held responsible in case anything happened to him, adding that he had also brought this to the notice of former chief minister and Amritsar MP Capt Amarinder Singh during his visit to the function of Jat Mahasabha in SAS Nagar on Thursday.
It all started with the removal of Pawan Dewan from the post of DCC president which resulted in protests against Bajwa from Dewan’s supporters, including a few block presidents, who even initiated a signature campaign for Bajwa’s removal. But Bajwa adopted zero tolerance against the protests and removed four block presidents on Wednesday. Dewan is a close associate of former Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari.
Bajwa’s visit to Ludhiana which was aimed at strengthening the party has further created a rift between the warring factions, that is, former DCC president Pawan Dewan and MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu. The PPCC president is being supported by MP Ravneet Singh Bittu who had come close to Ashu during his campaign.
Also, Partap Singh Bajwa’s repeated remarks against Capt Amarinder Singh during his Ludhiana visit have further widened the gulf between the two.
Not missing a chance to support Bajwa’s rivals, Capt Amarinder Singh not only welcomed Mand and the ousted block presidents at the Jat Mahasabha function in SAS Nagar on Thursday but also appointed Gursimran Singh Mand as the secretary, Punjab, of All India Jat Mahasabha.
Meanwhile, Cheema said, “I did react to the indecent behaviour by Mand and his associates as they had crossed the limit and I couldn’t let them get away with using foul language. It is a rather sorry state of affairs as I hold Capt Amarinder Singh in high esteem but it is shocking to see the kind of people he is associating himself with,” Cheema said.