The absence of big leaders made the mammoth Shaheedi Jor Mela political conference of the Congress look small and disjointed.
There was a crowd at its venue here on Thursday but no senior party leader from Delhi. Even former
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh; his wife and Patiala parliamenatarian, Preneet Kaur; state leader of Opposition Sunil Kumar Jakhar; Jagmeet Singh Brar, and former state party president Mohinder Singh Kaypee stayed away. Even the crowd was thanks to artistes such as Bhajna Amli.
Asked about the absence of state Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Kumar Jakhar in the important conference, Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa denied any sign of political differences, and said Jakhar was abroad. Asked to react to Amarinder's allegation that he had gone public with the names of 36 probable candidates for the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab to show that some the eight party MPs faced anti-incumbency, Bajwa said he had not discussed the list with the media and only advised the party high command to look for secular allies.
He said he had neither opposed any MP publicly nor stated he was against fielding any again. "I am myself a sitting MP from Gurdaspur," he added.