Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa on Thursday said the party had become the laughing stock of the state because of its infighting. In an interview to Hindustan Times, Bajwa said it was the duty of the disciplinary committee that had been constituted by the party high command to ensure discipline in the party.
He lamented that instead of indulging in serious introspection for the party’s performance, some Congressmen were busy fighting among themselves. Excerpts from the interview:
HT: Don’t you think you should have offered to resign on moral grounds after losing your seat?
Bajwa: I have already offered the party high command to step down in case it desires in view of the Congress’s not-so-good performance in Punjab. I have submitted a detailed report to the senior leadership on the reasons behind the poor show and also offered to resign.
Amarinder has openly sought your exit.
All Congress leaders are free to demand anything. They can write to the party high command expressing their views on all issues. However, while doing so they should see that party discipline is not violated. Such issues can be discussed at the party fora instead of taking these up through the media.
Why do you think Amarinder is against you, especially after you replaced him as party chief?
You should ask this question to Amarinder. On my part, I don’t think I have done any wrong to him knowingly or otherwise in my entire political career. I can only say that I had expected more support and cooperation from such a senior leader.
Do you think that by supporting MLAs Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and Kewal Singh Dhillon to speak against you, Amarinder is encouraging indiscipline in the party?
In a way, yes. I don’t mind if these leaders express their views against me in the party fora. However, by going public against me they are only giving a chance to the SAD-BJP alliance to get back at us and exploit the situation politically.
Amarinder has also defied the chairman of the state disciplinary committee, who sent show-cause notices to Sodhi and Dhillon.
It is the duty of the disciplinary committee which has been constituted by the party high command to ensure discipline in the party. The party has become the laughing stock in Punjab because of our infighting. Instead of indulging in some serious introspection for the party’s perfor mance and putting up a united face to fight the SAD-BJP misrule, some Congressmen are busy fighting among themselves. It is unfortunate.
Do you think it is high time the high command stepped in to stop senior state leadership from washing their dirty linen in public?
Our senior leaders, such as All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, have repeatedly asked the leaders not to go public on party-related issues. However, some people don’t listen. I think the party high command has to step in and take a firm stand on the increasing indiscipline in the party or we may not be able to put up a good show in the assembly polls in 2017.