Chandigarh MC poll debacle: Manish Tewari group wants city Congress unit ‘Bansal mukt’ | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh MC poll debacle: Manish Tewari group wants city Congress unit ‘Bansal mukt’

After Congress' debacle in the Chandigarh municipal corporation polls, it’s time to point finger. Crisis within the party has deepened as a faction considered close to former union minister Manish Tewari has raised the demand for ‘Pawan Kumar Bansal mukt’ city unit. The demand for former MP and railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s expulsion was raised by former councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma. The Congress won only four seats in the MC polls, results of which were declared on Tuesday.

punjab Updated: Dec 22, 2016 13:01 IST
Monica Sharma
Former Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma addressing the media in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Former Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma addressing the media in Chandigarh on Wednesday.(Karun Sharma/HT Photo)

After Congress' debacle in the Chandigarh municipal corporation polls, it’s time to point finger. Crisis within the party has deepened as a faction considered close to former union minister Manish Tewari has raised the demand for ‘Pawan Kumar Bansal mukt’ city unit. The demand for former MP and railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s expulsion was raised by former councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma. The Congress won only four seats in the MC polls, results of which were declared on Tuesday.

Congress’ local unit chief Pardeep Chhabra had tendered his resignation from the post, taking moral responsibility for the crushing defeat . The Chandigarh Congress in-charge Asha Kumari, however, said , “I have not yet received the resignation and once I get it, I will forward it to the party high command.”

Chander Mukhi Sharma said, “We should make Congress ‘Pawan Bansal mukt’ if we want to strengthen the party.” Sharma said he, along with principal Gurbachan Singh, will meet the central leaders seeking removal of Bansal and his supporters from posts in the city unit .

“Before the polls, we had categorically pointed out that the choice of candidates was not right and Bansal was not involving anyone else other than Pardeep Chhabra. They had been running the party like a private company and obliging only people close to them.”

He said Bansal and Chhabra, whom he descired as “the rubber stamp of the former”, should be expelled from the party. “Defeat in MC polls is not of the Congress but of Pawan Bansal,” he said.

Candidates hold meeting with Chhabra

The Congress candidates who lost the elections, held a meeting with Pardeep Chhabra to introspect what went wrong. It was decided that a formal complaint will be lodged with the election commission regarding the alleged tampering of the EVMs. They alleged that no videography was done when the EVMs were stored and the strong room where the machines were kept was not sealed. Some local leaders even demanded a CBI inquiry into the issue.

Some candidates also blamed Chhabra for not managing the elections properly. They also rued that though a list star campaigners was in, no efforts were put in to get the leaders around.

Even as Chhabra’s resignation is yet to be accepted, names of Pawan Sharma and Chander Mukhi Sharma are making rounds for the president’s post.

WE LOST DUE TO FACTIONALISM : ASHA KUMARI

Congress in-charge for Chandigarh Asha Kumari said, “We could not get our act together. I don’t think it is victory of Narendra Modi, but loss of local unit Congress due to factionalism. Expelling people is no solution, we need to set our house in order. Pawan Kumar Bansal is a senior colleague and maybe somewhere his judgement went wrong but it does not mean that we should expel him.We need to introspect and take corrective measures. We will also take along the party leaders who are unhappy.”