The Congress high command has taken a serious view of the utterances by its Raja Sansi MLA Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria against Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa and the entire state leadership.
Determined to curb any dissidence that may harm the party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the high command on Tuesday directed the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) to seek a reply from Sarkaria by October 5.
Meanwhile in Chandigarh, Bajwa tried to play down the issue saying he would call Sarkaria to address his grievances. "Sarkaria is like a younger brother. After taking over as party president, I had gone to meet him twice. He had discussed some local issues which I had assured him would be resolved soon," said Bajwa.
A senior Congress official told HT here, "As Sarkaria is a sitting MLA, the CLP has been asked to seek a reply from him and forward it to the high command."
CLP leader Sunil Jakhar is expected to send a written communique to Sarkaria seeking a reply on the letter that he had written to the party high command, in which he had criticised Bajwa's leadership. The letter was released to the local media here on September 29.
"It would have been fine had Sarkaria written a confidential letter to the high command but he chose to make the letter public, which is an anti-party activity. Every party member has the right to question the leadership but it must be done only within the party parameters," the official said.
According to the local Congress sources, the state leadership had kept a close tab on Sarkaria's activities over the past five to six months. The AICC in-charges for Punjab had been informed of Sarkaria's staying away from programmes of the party since Bajwa took over.