The Patiala and Talwandi Sabo bypolls in the state are proving to be yet another clash within the Congress, between camps of former CM and now MP Capt Amarinder Singh and state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa. Even as Amarinder has on his own assigned duties to his loyalists for his pocket borough of Patiala, where his wife and former union minister Preneet Kaur is in fray, Bajwa has approached the party high command with a list of leader he wants deputed.
Amarinder has already said he would not campaign at Talwandi Sabo and would instead concentrate on Patiala, the seat from which he resigned after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Amritsar. With not much time left before the August 21 poll date, the Congress has yet to formally finalise the duties of various leaders.
The Shiromani Akali Dal has already assigned duties and their leaders has started canvassing in their respective areas, whereas the Congress candidate from Talwandi Sabo, Harminder Singh Jassi, is yet to get names of leaders whom he can request to canvass in different areas.
In Patiala, Amarinder has reportedly asked his loyalist MLA Tripat Rajinder Bajwa to coordinate the campaign, for which not only the local leaders but those from faraway Majha have been deputed. Without consulting Bajwa, Amarinder thus assigned duties to at least 35 such leaders to campaign for Preneet.
Bajwa, meanwhile, has sent the list to sitting MLAs, unsuccessful contestants of the 2012 assembly polls, MPs and other prominent leaders to Shakeel Ahmad, the national general secretary incharge of Punjab Congress, to assign duties.
It is learnt that Bajwa has specifically taken up the issue that Amarinder's move of unilaterally assigning duties may sabotage the party campaign at a time when anti-incumbency against the SAD-BJP could help it.
Though Ahmad could not be contacted for comments, sources said the Congress would send a duty list by Tuesday.