A beleaguered Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Wednesday reasserted his authority by announcing to take on BJP president Amit Shah whenever the latter visited Punjab.
While just four MLAs, including two whose assembly segments fall in Muktsar, showed up at the political conference of the party at the Maghi Mela against an overwhelming majority of MLAs in the recent show of strength by deputy leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh in Patiala, Bajwa tried to resurrect himself as a “challenger” to political opponents outside the party than within it.
Though the party succeeded in pulling the crowds, it failed to put up a united face with even Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar staying away.
But former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who was reportedly snubbed by Amarinder by not extending her an invite for the Sunday luncheon meeting, attended the rally. Also present was former Punjab state Congress chief Mohinder Singh Kaypee, who was also present at the Captain’s meeting and is trying to be amicable to both the sides hoping for his own resurrection.
Indian Youth Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, whose assembly segment Gidderbaha falls in Muktsar, and MLA Karan Kaur Brar, were present along with Sardulgarh MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar and Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Cheema.
The leaders attacked the ruling combine on the drug menace, the fall in the prices of crops and the shortage of urea.
“We have come to take pledge from the historical town of Muktsar to continue our fight against drugs. It will go on till a CBI inquiry is ordered against revenue minister Bikram Majithia,” Bajwa said.
Bhattal hit at religious conversions taking place in the state saying the SAD government is silent on the issues related to Punjab.
Warring attacked the government, saying if drugs were not such a big issue, why was the SAD staging protests against it. “If they can claim credit for the development that never took place, they should also take the blame for the drug menace which is rampant in the state,” Warring said.
Poor attendance by senior leaders
Just a handful of former MLAs and sitting and former district Congress committee chiefs were present at the conference. These included former minister Hans Raj Josan, Punjab Mahila Congress president Kittu Grewal, Moga DCC chief Darshan Singh Brar, Inderjeet Singh Zira, Surinder Singh Sibia and Harminder Singh Jassi.