Giving a clear message to leaders creating rift in the party, PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa warned them at a rally in Banga on Thursday that indiscipline would not be tolerated at any cost and that if they want to remain in the party, they should work cohesively with other leaders.
Disturbed by the factionalism in the Nawanshahr unit of the Congress, Bajwa appealed to district leaders to keep the interests of the party above everything else.
He said that only honest and hardworking party workers would be rewarded and retained in the party. "It is due to internal differences that we lost the assembly elections," he reminded them.
When party workers were raising slogans in his favour, he stopped them, saying, "In future, nobody should shout like this. If you want to raise slogans, raise them in favour of the Congress."
Rift out in open
However, factionalism in the district Congress unit came to the fore in the evening at the residence of Nawanshahr MLA Guriqbal Kaur Babli, who had hosted a lunch for Bajwa. All senior leaders, including Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, Banga MLA and Doaba in-charge Tarlochan Singh Soondh, Chamkaur Sahib MLA Charanjeet Singh and district president Satvir Singh Palli Jhikki, were present on the occasion.
But suddenly when Bajwa, along with Jhikki, went to see a temple on the first floor of Babli's house, then MLA Babli shouted that Jhikki had no right to enter the temple and repeatedly asked party workers to tell him to come down. She even started weeping, which prompted Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Singh Bittu to intervene. After a few minutes, Soondh and Bittu took Jhikki aside to bring the situation under control.
Speaking at the rally, Bittu addressed party leaders of the Balachaur unit by name, saying, "Balchaur walea nu kuj jyada hi problem rehndi hai. Ese karke sarea de naam lai reha ha. (Balachaur Congress workers have a problem with me. That's why I am taking their names)."