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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Elevation of young faces ignites bickering among Congress cadres

Rajeev Bhaskar , Hindustan Times   Jalandhar, December 28, 2013
First Published: 20:00 IST(28/12/2013) | Last Updated: 20:03 IST(28/12/2013)

With the elevation of young faces including Rajinder Beri and Jagbir Singh Brar as heads of district party urban and rural units respectively, state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa has tried to enthuse party workers in the district, but their elevation has also ignited bickering in the party.

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Rajinder Beri, who unsuccessfully contested the last assembly poll from Jalandhar (central) segment, gave a close fight to the former minister and BJP nominee Manoranjan Kalia, in spite of the fact that his candidature was announced at the eleventh hour and had also raised a banner of revolt by openly aligning with rebel Congress councillors in the municipal corporation, who constituted a 'dynamic group' to counter own party councillors.

On the other hand, Brar, who is a former SAD MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment, had later on shifted his loyalty to People's Party of Punjab (PPP), headed by his cousin and former finance minister Manpreet Badal before switching over to Congress just before the assembly poll in 2012.

Later on, Brar was fielded by Congress from Jalandhar Cantonment assembly segment and lost to the sportsman-turned-politician Pargat Singh.

As both Beri and Brar are known as close confidants of former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, their elevation to the plum posts has given an impression that state party chief Bajwa could not bat for his supporters before the party high command, sources in the Congress told HT.

Beri was elevated by ignoring the strong claim of close confidant of Bajwa, Anil Dutta, who claimed that till a couple of days ago, he was assured by Bajwa of his elevation to the post of district (urban) head.
 
"I don't know what went wrong, but I welcome the decision of the party and would continue to work for the betterment of the party," Dutta said.

Meanwhile, another claimant and former councillor Manoj Arora, could not hide his annoyance with the party leadership and said, "It seems that posts in Congress are on sale."

Sources close to Arora revealed to HT that he is considering resignation from the party.  Even on the issue of his resignation, Arora did not rule out any such possibility.

Even former minister Amarjit Singh Samra and former MLA Kamaljit Singh Lalli also expressed their annoyance on the elevation of Brar as district (rural) president. However, they preferred to avoid to say anything against Bajwa and said that they would raise the issue with the party high command at an appropriate time.

The elevation of former BSP MP Satnam Singh Kainth to the post of general secretary of the PPCC has also not gone well among the Congress' rank and file.
 
Other Congress leaders of the district, who were given key posts in the list of re-constituted PPCC, include CD Kamboj (vice president) and Tejinder Singh Bittu and Satnam Singh Kainth (general secretaries).  

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