Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday sought a reply from "disgruntled" party MLA Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, for his utterances against the state party leadership led by state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa.
Jakhar held an hour-long meeting with Sarkaria at the house of Amritsar West Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka here. The meeting took place prior to the Punjab Youth Congress (PYC)'s Adhikar Yatra, which Jakhar flagged off jointly with Bajwa.
Jakhar told reporters, "I had a brief interaction with Sarkaria and sought a reply on the contents of his letter to the Congress high command. He has agreed to furnish all details in writing."
Jakhar said he had sought the reply in accordance with the wishes of the high command and in his capacity as the CLP leader. The reply would be forwarded to Delhi, he added.
The CLP leader did not commit self on getting the reply by the October 5 deadline as the MLA had told him of being busy in family affairs.
Claiming that the state Congress was united, the CLP leader said, "In a democratic party, one has the right to express his views. Everything will be sorted out when the time comes."
Sarkaria to reply 'in detail'
Sarkaria, the Raja Sansi MLA, said, "As I have personal engagements in the coming days, I sought two to three days or even more time for furnishing the reply. Jakhar sahib agreed."
Asked about his absence from the PYC function, he said he had personal engagements at Jalandhar.
Sarkaria claimed that the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. He also clarified that he had no intentions of joining the Shiromani Akali Dal as rumours to that effect were being spread by his detractors in the party.
Bajwa refuses to comment
Bajwa refused to comment on the criticism Sarkaria had heaped on him. "Jakhar sahib has been assigned the task to seek a reply, so I cannot say anything," he said.
When asked if Sarkaria's letter was an "open invitation" to the state Congress to get rid of him so that he could join Akalis, he said, "You know better, I will not comment."
Wondering on the immediate provocation behind the letter, Bajwa said, "I even went to his house sometime back to find out the reasons for his keeping away from party programmes. I fail to understand the sudden outburst."
Sarkaria has been asked to furnish a reply to his September 29 letter to the high command as he violated party discipline by releasing the contents to the media.