The ongoing battle between state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa and former district party chief Pawan Dewan has intensified after disciplinary action committee (DAC) chairman Gopal Krishan Chatrath has expelled the latter.
Dewan on Tuesday chose to go to the media with his response to the Chatrath statement. The internal rift in the Congress has widened, since as a group of senior Congressmen, including parliamentarian Ravneet Singh Bittu and legislator Bharat Bhushan Ashu support Bajwa, while man old party workers who were against Dewan initially now are with him and opposed to Bajwa.
“If at all we have to choose, Dewan is a better bet than Bajwa, who has done nothing to help the Congress,” said a party worker. Dewan said his expulsion was illegal, since the DAC had no powers to expel elected members of the Pradesh Congress Committee and DCC.
He said DAC chairman Chatrath had acted as a mere stenographer of the state party president Bajwa and not given his critics any chance to present their case. “The decision to expel me and five others was premeditated,” said Dewan, adding: “The DAC chairman had neither the courage nor the courtesy to serve us the expulsion notice. Instead he issued a press release before acting.”
Dewan said it was odd that he had received the DAC press release but not the expulsion notice. He said he would ask DAC national chairman AK Anthony and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to investigate the allegations against Bajwa.
Not deterred by the proceedings, former Ludhiana district Congress president said he had asked Chatrath to specify which allegations against Bajwa he had found baseless, so that he could substantiate those with evidence. “He never bothered to reply or give me personal hearing that I had sought,” said Dewan.
The leader said that it was obvious from the show-cause notice that Chatrath was followed Bajwa diktats blindly. He also said he never considered self to be a part of the “Bajwa Congress” that the PCC (Pradesh Congress Committee) had been reduced to now; and that he would always work for the real Congress led by Sonia Gandhi.