Senior Congress leaders and workers from across Punjab convened a meeting here on Monday over the "step-motherly treatment" being meted out by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) to urban Hindu party leaders.
More than 40 party leaders and senior workers said they would register their complaints with the panel constituted by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) under Jalandhar MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee to look into grievances of dissidents.
AICC secretary and Batala MLA Ashwani Sekhri, AICC member Aman Arora and Ludhiana MLA Rakesh Pandey, along with other leaders and senior party workers, expressed resentment over the list of office-bearers prepared by PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa. "We will soon approach the committee constituted under Kaypee regarding the missing representation of urban Hindus in the state," added Sekhri.
The leaders stated that over the years, the representation of urban Hindus had decreased in various units of the Congress in Punjab.
The Congress leaders stated that the idea behind the meeting was not to condemn or criticise anyone but to take an initiative to strengthen the party in Punjab. "Representation should be fair. Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state, tickets for five seats should be given to urban Hindus in the upcoming parliamentary elections," Sekhri and Pandey said.
The Congress leaders termed the Punjab BJP as a "toothless tiger" which had failed to play an effective role as the alliance partner of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Other issues discussed at the meeting included high value-added tax (VAT), increase in power tariff, regularisation of unauthorised colonies, 'legalised' corruption in sand mining and transportation.