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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Race for district Congress panel chief's post hots up

Rajeev Bhaskar , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, October 07, 2013
First Published: 21:44 IST(7/10/2013) | Last Updated: 21:45 IST(7/10/2013)

Amid the declaration of re-constitution of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and District Congress Committees (DCC), race for the plum post of the district president has geared up.

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"Re-constitution of the PPCC, which was to be announced this week, will be delayed by a week as Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is visiting Sangrur on October 10 to inaugurate Cancer Hospital," sources close to state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa told Hindustan Times, adding that even the re-constitution of DCC would be announced simultaneously.

Meanwhile, several party workers started exploring their "political links" to grab the "hot seat".

For the post of DCC (urban) president, three front runners are Rajinder Beri, former councillor and Congress candidate for Jalandhar (central) seat in the last assembly elections; Anil Dutta, former Youth Congress president; and Vishwakirti Yash, son of former MP and state cabinet minister Yash.

Beri, who unsuccessfully contested the last assembly elections from Jalandhar (central) assembly segment with a very thin margin, emerged as mass leader, as in spite of his candidature at the eleventh hour, he posed a tough challenge to BJP nominee and former state cabinet minister Manoranjan Kalia.

Leader of opposition in municipal corporation, Jagdish Raja is Beri's strong supporter, but newly constituted Dynamic Group of Congress councillors are against Beri.

Proximity to PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa has strengthened the aspirations of Anil Dutta, who was the district president of Youth Congress during the tenure of Bajwa as state Youth Congress chief in 1982.

After Bajwa's taking over as state Congress chief, Dutta was included in his team as a "strategist". As Brahmins were in minority in all four assembly segments in urban areas in the last assembly elections, caste combination favours Dutta's position as two of the candidates fielded in the last assemble elections by the Congress were Kshatriyas and two were Jat Sikhs.

Third strong contender Vishwakirti Yash has a strong family background as his late father Yash had represented the Jalandhar parliamentary constituency once and had been elected MLA from Jalandhar (central) four times, besides being the state cabinet minister for around 18 years.

Vishwakirti Yash's late mother Swarn Yash also remained president of the state Mahila Congress twice apart from being the member of the All-India Congress Committee.

It is learnt that Vishwakirti also enjoys close association with Bajwa as both were classmates in college.

However, some other local Congress leaders, including RTI activist Anil Vashisht, local MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee's loyalists Manoj Aggarwal and former MLA Raj Kumar Gupta, are eyeing the post.

As far as post for the DCC (rural) is concerned, former MLA and cabinet minister Amarjit Singh Samra has emerged as the lone contender.

 

Front runners for post of DCC (urban) president

Rajinder Beri
former councillor

Unsuccessfully contested the last assembly elections from Jalandhar (central) assembly segment

Emerged as a mass leader as in spite of his candidature at the eleventh hour, he posed a tough challenge to BJP nominee Manoranjan Kalia.

Anil Dutta
former district president, Youth Congress

Proximity to PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa has strengthened his aspirations.

After Bajwa's taking over as the state Congress chief, Dutta was included in his team as a "strategist".

Vishwakirti Yash
son of former MP and state cabinet minister Yash

Has a strong family background. His late father Yash had represented Jalandhar parliamentary constituency once and had been elected MLA from Jalandhar (central) four times.

His late mother Swarn Yash was member of the AICC and president of the state Mahila Congress twice.

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