In what is seen as a step towards resolving the Punjab Congress leadership issue, Amritsar MP Amarinder Singh will accompany party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday to the families of the two men killed in the October 14 police firing at Behbal Kalan in Faridkot district.
The development comes a day after former Punjab chief minister Amarinder walked alongside Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul, to Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi on Tuesday against “growing intolerance in the country”. He has missed many party programmes in the past few months.
Party sources said Rahul would reach Kotkapura by the Punjab Mail train at 4.30am and Amarinder will join him there at 7am, after which along with Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa and other leaders, they would go to the villages of the police firing victims. They will be at the house of Gurjeet Singh at Sarawan around 7.30am and with the family of Krishan Bhagwan Singh at Niamiwala by noon.
The visit is organised by Bajwa’s Pradesh Congress team but Amarinder’s faction is also active in participating. Captain’s close associate and Congress Malwa zone in-charge Gurpreet Singh Kangar confirmed the development. In the coming few days, the party high command is expected to announce the leadership change for Punjab. Amarinder has warmed up to Rahul after his two meetings with him and one with Sonia in past few days on this issue.
In a sign of the positive outcome of the meetings, an upbeat Captain joined the party march to Rashtrapati Bhawan on Tuesday.
After meeting the family of Gurjeet Singh at Sarawan, Rahul Gandhi will address people at the village (community hubs) of Gurusar and Behbal Kalan; and then will go to meet the family of the other police firing victim at Niamiwala. After this, the Congress vice-president is expected to visit the Bargari gurdwara and stay at the Bathinda circuit house on Thursday night. Captain Amarinder Singh will be with him throughout the day.
Bajwa beats them to Faridkot
Faridkot: Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa was in Faridkot on Wednesday ahead of the scheduled visit of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday.
He told the media here that moving the Guru Granth Sahib ‘bir’ sacrilege case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was just eyewash aimed at buying time. “Otherwise, like the Gujarat riots, this investigation should also be under the Supreme Court supervision; and two deaths in police firing, a related case, should also be moved to the CBI,” said Bajwa.
The Congress leaders asked chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to “resign over the alleged illegal confinement and torture of two brothers to force them to say they were involved in sacrilege”. He said some state agencies were behind the episode to divert public’s attention from the farmers’ agitation.
He mocked at Sukhbir, who had claimed foreign hand in the Bargari desecration case.