The opposition Congress seems to have lost steam that it had gathered during the Lok Sabha elections leading to the victory of its candidate and former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh over the high-profile BJP candidate and now union minister Arun Jaitley from the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency.
This seemed evident from the poor turnout at the district-level party dharna outside the office of the deputy commissioner here on Wednesday to protest against the erratic power supply in the state and against corruption and the poor fiscal health of the state. The dharna was jointly organised by the urban and rural units of the Amritsar District Congress Committee (DCC).
All three Congress MLAs from the district -- Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Dr Raj Kumar and OP Soni -- were not to be seen. Incidentally, Soni, a vice-president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), is also the party in-charge of the Majha belt.
A majority of the party workers who took part in the protest belonged to Majitha assembly segment and had been ferried to the city by their leader Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli Majithia. A handful of women activists who were present were from the city.
The Congress leaders who addressed the party activists included PPCC vice-president Sardool Singh Bhundala, former MLAs Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Swinder Singh Kathunangal and Harpartap Singh Ajnala besides DCC urban chief Rajeev Bhagat.
While these leaders ensured their presence, they, however, did not bother to ferry party
activists from their respective areas to the DC's office to ensure success of the protest.
The focus of the protest that should have been on the power scenario in the state and the unannounced power cuts shifted to the drug problem with revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia being the target, especially of Lalli Majithia.
The Congress leaders claimed that the anti-drug campaign started by the government would not yield results unless the kingpins were nabbed. They alleged that the government was shielding the kingpins as some of them were aligned to the Akali party.
"When the UPA was in power, the Badals and Majithia did not have faith in a CBI inquiry into the drug trade. Now at least they should agree to a CBI inquiry, which is our demand," said some of the Congress leaders while addressing the dharna.
After the protest, the Congress leaders presented a memorandum to the DC.