Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa's contention that the PPCC list of office-bearers was finalised by the party's high command has failed to quell rebellion.
Dr Dharamveer Agnihotri, former president, Tarn Taran district Congress committee (DCC), has quit as PPCC secretary, a post to which he was appointed by Bajwa.
Agnihotri, considered close to former PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh, on Friday sent his resignation letter to Bajwa. Copies of the letter were also despatched to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
"There is no question of withdrawing my resignation, as I feel cheated by the appointment of certain persons in the PPCC who had openly opposed me in the 2012 assembly polls, which I fought from Tarn Taran," he said in his resignation letter, copies of which he distributed among the media at a press conference here.
Agnihotri remained the president of the Tarn Taran DCC for the past nine years, before Bajwa replaced him with youth leader Sukhpal Bhullar. However, in a balancing act, Agnihotri was appointed secretary in the newly-constituted PPCC. Agnihotri did not oppose Bhullar's appointment as his successor as he gets along well with the latter's father, former minister Gurchet Bhullar.
However, what annoyed him was the appointment of Gurvinder Singh Mamanke as PPCC secretary and GS Rataul as member of the executive committee. Both new appointees are considered close to Bajwa.
"Mamanke and Rataul opposed me in the 2012 assembly polls after they failed to get the Congress ticket. Even in the 2007 elections, which I fought from then assembly segment of Naushera Pannuan, I lost by a narrow margin to Akali stalwart Ranjit Singh Brahmapura due to opposition from within the Congress," he added.
"I will continue to serve the party as 'halqa' (area) incharge of the Tarn Taran assembly segment," he added, while making it clear that he had no intentions of quitting the Congress.