Even as infighting in Doaba has overshadowed two meetings of Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh with party workers here, he says “it’s normal in the party”.
At his individual meetings with the district urban and rural units, a few party workers embarrassed the leaders sitting with Captain on stage by pointing out that those to on his right and left didn’t work in tandem. “Congress doesn’t have threat from the AAP or the SAD-BJP but from within. Until you tell all the main leaders to cooperate, you cannot win Doaba,” Jalandhar councillor Paramajit Singh Pamma told Amarinder. Every third worker who spoke at the meet was unnerved by infighting.
In the rural unit meeting, many workers regretted that the leaders at the assembly constituency level had already started “announcing” self as candidates and sidelining supporters of the opposite camps. “In Nakodar, there’s a buzz that you have given the poll ticket to former Congress legislator Gurwinder Atwal and asked Amarjit Samra to contest from Jalandhar Cantonment. Make it clear today why they are making these claims,” said former Youth Congress block president Rajiv Duggal. Shahkot Congress worker Charanjit Singh said: “Enaa leadrran nu tussin saamb lo...baaki votaan assin paa devange (You take care of these leaders , we’ll manage the votes).”.
In his replies at both places, the state Congress president made no categorical comment over the issue but when confronted at the press conference, said this infighting would hardly cause any damage. “Infighting is in the veins of the party. Rather, one can say it’s a tradition. There is no infighting at the grassroots and middle levels, but yes, it’s there at the top,” said Captain.
He hoped that suspending Bir Davinder and Jagmit Brar, who had criticised the party on many occasions, would end infighting at the top as well. The Jalandhar urban unite was disappointed with Captain’s core team.
‘MPs son, if capable can run for MLA’
Asked if his statement that the Congress would field only one member from each family in the assembly elections applied to the MPs as well, he said if an MP’s son was capable and winnable, he could get the ticket. “If the party felt that Jalandhar MP Santokh Chaudhary’s son, Vikram Chaudhary, can win, party won’t have a problem in fielding him,” Amarinder specified.