If it is "social engineering", it is at best curious. The names in the jumbo state executive of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee before the Lok Sabha polls are likely to appease less and annoy more leaders of the party as seniority and merit lines have been blurred to "accommodate" loyalists and kin of various factions and how.
Dumping ground: executive committee
The stamp of Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa is as much in his loyalists, some rather unknown, making to the elite lists of vice-presidents and general secretaries, as in some staunch loyalists of his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh being hurdled into a jumbo executive committee to phase out general secretaries from his team such as Rana Gurjit Singh, Arvind Khanna and Rana Kaypee, who was a vice-president in Amarinder's team. Bajwa has also tried to "accommodate" in the committee a senior MLA considered close to Amarinder such as Tripat Bajwa and Amarinder's son Raninder Singh. Not only the seniority lines have been blurred in the 148-member executive committee, it has been rendered almost defunct by the sheer numbers.
Vice-presidents: new deputies diluted
Soon after Bajwa was appointed the state chief, the party high command appointed four deputies as zonal heads. Now the authority of the four vice-presidents - Charanjit Channi, Tarlochan Singh, Gurpreet Kangar and OP Soni -- has been watered down by including them in the list of 14 vice-presidents. Leaving some senior winning MLAs in the cold, this list has losing MLAs such as Surinderpal Sibia -- a loyalist of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal -- CD Kamboj and Sardul Singh. Two vice-presidents Kewal Dhillon and Rana Gurmeet Sodhi, seen from the Amarinder camp, have their own equations to thank for being in the list. Two surprise entries are of MLAs Sangat Singh Gilzian and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. The entry of Randeep Nabha, a Bajwa loyalist, was expected.
General secretaries: greenhorns, kin
While losing MLAs are vice-presidents, some senior winning MLAs of the party such as Jagmohan Kang have been accommodated as general secretaries along with greenhorns such as former ADGP DR Bhatti, an LS ticket hopeful from Hoshiarpur, who has appeared in the list beating several senior MLAs. The list also packs most Bajwa loyalists such as Parminder Pinky, Gurkirat Kotli, Rajanbir Singh and Bajwa's younger brother Fateh Bajwa along with unknown names such as Pawan Adia. While three-time SC MLA Harchand Kaur is in the list of secretaries, first-time MLA Raja Warring is a general secretary.
Amarinder loyalist Jugal Kishore has been replaced with a new face, Rajiv Bhagat, in Amritsar urban. Jagmeet Brar's loyalist Gurdas Girdhar has been edged out and made an executive committee member. Ferozepur and Fazilka too have relatively unknown names as district presidents.
Flouting Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's diktat for cooling off period for rebels, both Hansraj Hans and Lally Majithia have been appointed general secretaries. Those who switched loyalty from Manpreet Badal's People's Party of Punjab have been rewarded too. Kushaldeep Dhillon is general secretary and former MLA Jagbir Brar new district president of Jalandhar rural.
Bajwa's wife Charanjit Kaur is in the executive committee
Fateh Bajwa: Bajwa's brother, general secretary
Former PCC chief SS Dullo's wife Harbans Kaur Dhillon, executive committee
Senior leader Jagmeet Brar's brother Ripjit Brar, executive committee
Suman Kaypee, wife of MP Mohinder Kaypee, executive committee
Bikram Mofar, son of MLA Ajit Inder Mofar, district president Mansa
Conspicuous by absence
Sukhpal Khaira: The very first appointment made by Bajwa is missing from his list of the state executive. Khaira, whose tirade against SAD treasurer and Dera Bassi MLA NK Sharma had landed Bajwa in a controversy over his land deals, has been cold-shouldered. Khaira, when contacted, said he had tried to do justice to his role as spokesman and it was for the party to reward his work.
Sukh Sarkaria: The Raja Sansi MLA who locked horns with Bajwa finds no mention in the list. A loyalist of Capt Amarinder, Sukh Sarkaria was a vice-president in Amarinder's team.