HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Cong high command not considering Bajwa’s removal, says Shakeel

Manpreet Randhawa, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, June 01, 2014
First Published: 07:44 IST(1/6/2014) | Last Updated: 07:46 IST(1/6/2014)

All India Congress Committee general secretary Shakeel Ahmad, incharge of the party’s Punjab affairs, categorically stated on Saturday that the party was “not at all” considering the removal of state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa from his post.

Bajwa had on Thursday told HT that he had offered to quit the post since the Congress had won only three of Punjab’s 13 Lok Sabha seats.

Bajwa himself lost Gurdaspur to BJP’s Vinod Khanna. Talking to HT, Ahmad said Bajwa “must have offered to resign”, but added that there were many more, similar instances wherein state Congress chiefs had offered to quit “out of courtesy and to own moral responsibility”.

“However, so far, the Congress is not considering Bajwa’s removal at all,” said Ahmad, adding that he had no express knowledge of Bajwa submitting a written resignation.

It is worth a mention here that, as per Congress practice, whenever a state unit chief submits resignation to the high command, he/she sends a copy to the state incharge.

Within the state unit, Bajwa has been under fire from former CM and the newly elected Amritsar MP, Capt Amarinder Singh, whom Bajwa had succeeded as the PPCC president after the party lost unexpectedly in the 2012 state assembly polls.

While Amarinder has taken not-so-discreet shots at Bajwa, the erstwhile Patiala royal’s supporting MLAs, such as Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi and Kewal Singh Dhillon, have openly been asking for Bajwa’s resignation.

In fact, Amarinder and his faction even challeng ed the chairman of the party’s state disciplinary committee, GK Chatrath, over show cause notices to Sodhi and Dhillon for demanding Bajwa’s resignation.

As such, even though Ahmad has told party leaders not to air their views to the media and rather discuss matters at party forums, no one seems to be listening.

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