Congress leaders of the Majha belt, irrespective of their group affiliations in the party, are preparing to accord a warm welcome to the newly-appointed Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa on his maiden visit to the holy city on Saturday since his appointment.
Bajwa, Lok Sabha member from Gurdaspur, is especially coming here to pay obeisance at Golden Temple before taking over his new assignment on March 18 in Chandigarh. The MP was appointed PPCC chief by AICC president Sonia Gandhi in place of former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh after the party lost the Moga assembly bypoll to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
All formalities for according a rousing reception to the new PPCC chief have been completed with party leaders being assigned specific tasks. The younger brother of the MP, Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa, is coordinating the preparations. Fateh had distanced himself from his elder brother after the MP got the ticket for his wife, Charanjit Kaur Bajwa, from the Qadian assembly segment in the elections held in January last year.
While Bajwa's wife won the seat for the party, Fateh moved over to the Amarinder camp.
However, after Partap Bajwa was chosen to head the state Congress, Fateh apparently decided to reconcile with his brother.
Duties of senior leaders, including MLAs of Majha and the District Congress Committee (DCC) office-bearers, have been cut out and they have all been assigned specific tasks. The DCC members of Amritsar (rural and urban), Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur, including Pathankot, have all been directed to reach the city to welcome Bajwa.
As per the schedule, the Gurdaspur DCC members will receive Bajwa at the railway station when he arrives here in Shatabdi Express from Delhi. Thereafter, he will lead his party leaders and workers on foot to Golden Temple.
Members of Amritsar DCC (rural) and Tarn Taran will escort Bajwa from the railway station to Hall Gate. Thereafter, Amritsar DCC (urban) members will take him to Golden Temple.
Bajwa will also pay homage to the martyrs at Jallianwala Bagh and then pay obeisance at Durgiana Mandir. He will also visit Ram Tirath before leaving for Jalandhar late in the evening.
The party MLAs from Majha - Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Ashwani Sekhri, Aruna Chaudhary, OP Soni, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Raj Kumar and Ramanjit Singh Sikki are - expected to be present.
Welcome at Beas
In addition to accord him a welcome in Amritsar, Congress leaders have also organised a reception for Bajwa at the Beas railway station where Shatabdi will halt for two minutes. Former MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa has organised the reception.
Fourth PPCC chief from Majha
When Partap Bajwa assumes charge on March 18, he will become fourth Congressman from the Majha belt to become PPCC president. The first 'Majhail' (from the Majha belt) to head the PPCC was Partap Singh Kairon, a former chief minister of the undivided Punjab.
In the 1980s, RL Bhatia, a former union minister and former governor, and Santokh Singh Randhawa, a former minister of Punjab, also headed the party.