In the midst of the bashing of the Badals and Majithias at a political rally of the Congress here on Saturday, a lone voice was heard calling upon the senior leadership of the faction-riddled party to sink their differences and unite or else they could forget about coming to power in 2017.
The voice was that of former MP Jagmeet Singh Brar, who recently returned to the Congress fold after staying away for a year and a half following his expulsion on disciplinary grounds.
"Only if the Congress is united would it come to power in Punjab in the next assembly polls," Brar said while addressing the party conference here on Rakhar Puniya.
Turning to state party chief Partap Singh Bajwa, former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, all of whom were seated on the stage, Brar called upon the senior leadership to give up their respective party posts and work for the Congress.
"Let us all give up our posts and work towards strengthening the party. Let us put up united shows everywhere we go and you will see the results immediately," he suggested.
Brar's suggestion comes at a time when the Congress high command is working out on a compromise formula to put an end to the internal feud between Bajwa and Amritsar MP Capt Amarinder Singh. Confirming this, Ahmed admitted that the high command is keen to resolve the crisis.
"The rank and file of the party is concerned but the high command has not said anything about a change in leadership. So long as Bajwa enjoys the confidence of the party president and vice-president, he will continue to head the state unit," Ahmed said while talking to HT after the conference.
As the conference was organised by former MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa, a confidant of Bajwa, the Amarinder camp stayed away. All India Youth Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, state party spokespersons Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Namisha Mehta, Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa and Sardulgarh MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar were among those present.
Cong attacks Badals, Majithias
Earlier while addressing the conference, Ahmed asserted that the Congress would form the government in Punjab in 2017. He said the party is united in the state and the SAD-BJP would be wiped out.
In his speech, Bajwa sought mandate of the people on three issues, which included a CBI probe into the drug scam, debt waiver for farmers and implementation of one rank, one pension (OROP). He attacked revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia on the drug issue and demanded a CBI probe into the drug racket.
He called upon chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to get Rs 51,000 crore loan waiver for the farmers from the Modi government. He said the decision to implement OROP was taken by the UPA government but the Modi government was not implementing it.
Bhattal attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing on his promise to bring back black money and distribute it among the common man as used to be his refrain in the run-up to the parliamentary elections.
Raja Warring demanded a Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe into drug smuggling in Punjab. Khaira highlighted the thrashing of policemen at a police station in Gurdaspur district at the hands of an Akali sarpanch and his supporters.