The All India Congress Committee has appointed Mamta Dutta as president of the Mahila (women) Congress for Punjab. Former mayor Poonam Sharma will be new president of the Mahila Congress for Chandigarh, while Himani Debbarma gets the post for Tripura.
Mamta Dutta is a former independent member of the Amritsar municipal corporation, but had lost the MC polls in 2012 on the Congress ticket. Her nomination as women’s wing chief was supported by Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh. Dutta, 42, is sister-in-law of former Amritsar mayor Sunil Dutti who had lost the Amritsar East seat in the 2012 assembly polls to BJP’s Navjot Kaur Sidhu. A two-time councillor, Dutta’s appointment has Amarinder’s stamp as she hails from his Lok Sabha seat.
Poonam Sharma was mayor of Chandigarh in 2015. A practising lawyer at the Punjab and Haryana high court, she is the Congress councillor from ward 7 (Maloya and Sector 39) and had defeated BJP’s Bindu Rani in a bypoll in September 2012. At present, she is also president of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Women in Chandigarh. “I am honoured and will fight for the rights of women in Chandigarh. I will take Congress policies to each and every household,” she said.
During her tenure as mayor, Poonam Sharma’s vigilante acts had earned her both bouquets and brickbats. She carried out surprise raids at gambling dens and slapped the accused with impetuosity. She even had whacked the husband of a woman after he showed up drunk following the death of their child in a dog attack.