Amarinder’s luncheon meeting: Big Congress names on platter

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Jan 11, 2015 17:55 IST

Many prominent Congress leaders of the state are likely to join the luncheon meeting being hosted by Captain Amarinder Singh in Patiala on Sunday.

In a setback to state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa, the entire Congress leadership from Doaba is set to attend the meeting being organised by Amarinder as a show of strength. All District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents of the party except that of Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar (Nawanshahr) district and six of the seven MLAs of the party from the region, most ex-MLAs, Jalandhar MP Santokh Chaudhary and his son and Punjab Youth Congress president Vikram Chaudhary are set to join Amarinder’s show of strength where party insiders say a strategy would be chalked out for further course of action.

‘Most popular’

From Jalandhar, DCC rural president Jagbir Brar, DCC urban chief Rajinder Beri, former ministers Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Avtar Henry and Amarjeet Singh Samra and PPCC general secretary Tejinder Bittu have confirmed their presence.

“Amarinder remains the most popular face of the party in Punjab, and if he has invited us to lunch, what is wrong in that,” said Brar.

In Hoshiarpur district, DCC chief and Hoshiarpur MLA Sham Sunder Arora, sitting MLA from Urmur Sangat Singh Gilchian, independent MLA from Mukerian Rajnish Babbi, former Garshankar MLA Love Kumar Goldy, ex-MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee, and party’s SC wing president Raj Kumar have confirmed their participation.

In Kapurthala district, Capt loyalist Rana Gurjit Singh and Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Cheema, who is also the DCC president, have confirmed that they would attend the lunch meet. “A few of our MLAs have made the strategy to attend the meet to request senior leaders to stop fighting and chalk out a united strategy to bring the party back in power,” said Cheema.

‘If Bajwa asks, I’ll go’

From SBS Nagar district, local MLA Guriqbal Kaur Babli, who is a Captain loyalist, and party’s Doaba in-charge and Banga MLA Tarlochan Sondh are likely to attend the meet.

SBS Nagar DCC chief Dharampal Bangar was the only prominent leader, who declined to attend the lunch. “If Bajwa asks me to go, I will go,” he said.

Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar confirmed that he would attend the lunch meeting. From Bathinda, Sardulgarh MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar said he would not attend the lunch as there was a tragedy in the family. Bhucho MLA Ajaib Singh Bhatti and Jaitu MLA Joginder Singh Punjgrain confirmed that they would be attending the lunch. Karan Kaur Brar, the Muktsar MLA, is also expected to attend the lunch. Parminder Singh Pinky, the Ferozepur MLA, is not likely to attend. Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, MLA from Guru Har Sahai, is expected.

From Amritsar, all three MLA from the city -- OP Soni, Raj Kumar and Sukh Sarkaria -- are expected to attend the lunch. District rural Congress chief Gurdeep Aujla, former MLA Jugal Kishore Sharma and former district youth chief Dinesh Bassi are expected to attend the event. From Gurdaspur, MLAs Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Aruna Choudhary are expected to attend the lunch. Harminder Singh Gill and Gurchet Bhullar are not likely to attend the lunch.

Not many Congress leaders from Ludhiana are expected to attend the lunch. So far, only former president of district Congress Pawan Dewan and district president (rural) Malkit Singh Dakha have confirmed their visit. MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Rakesh Pandey said they both had prior engagements.

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