PATIALA: Amidst rumours that former chief minister and Amritsar member of Parliament (MP) Captain Amarinder Singh is floating a new party, the party high command has again started parleys to put the faction-ridden Punjab Congress house in order. And this time, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has taken the charge and has called for one-to-one meeting with party legislators to find an amicable solution.
Congress MLAs confirmed that they have got a call from Rahul’s office to attend the meeting on October 8 and October 12. Senior party leaders have been called after October 8, said sources.
Some MLAs from the Doaba region met Rahul at his Delhi residence on Monday in which he asked them to suggest the names of their choice for the post of Punjab Congress chief. “We have conveyed that Amarinder is an asset to the Congress in Punjab and the party should evolve a formoula to retain him,” said an MLA, who met Rahul on Monday. Rahul also summoned Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa that day to discuss ways to end factionalism in the Punjab unit.
Source said the party high command wants name the new Punjab Congress chief before the Bihar elections results, where an adverse result will lower the position and bargain power of Rahul.
In April too, Rahul had held similar interactions with the MLAs, but that time he had met them in groups.
Sources said that as majority of the MLAs are backing the Amarinder, so Rahul wants to have one-to-one sitting with them to read their mind and their expectations from the high command. There is a possibility that some MLAs, who support Amarinder, may skip the meeting with Rahul, reveal sources.
Confirming that Rahul wants to have one-to-one interaction with all sitting Congress MLAs of Punjab, Congress secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Chaudhari said: “Holding parleys with leaders is a continuous process to take feedback. Rahul wants to meet the MLAs to seek their opinion.” He, however, said the party high command would take a final decision on the leadership change in Punjab, which would be done soon.