Congress panel to resolve Punjab crisis meets Rahul
A three-member Congress committee headed by leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge met former president and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Sunday to discuss the recommendations given to resolve factionalism in the party’s Punjab unit.
The panel, which has All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat and former Delhi MP Jai Prakash Agarwal as members, met Rahul at his residence. At the one-hour meeting, the committee’s key recommendations, including revamping of the party’s organisational set-up in Punjab, accommodating Sidhu either in the party or in the state cabinet, reaching out to marginalised castes, were discussed.
“The committee discussed the report and he (Rahul) had lots of queries which were answered,” a panel member said.
Besides the suggestion regarding fair representation to the Dalits and Hindus, continued statements of party leaders, including Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Pargat Singh, also came up for specific discussion. The meeting, according to a party leader, underlines the urgency being shown by the central leadership.
The SAD-BSP electoral alliance and the seat-sharing announced by the two parties on Saturday have set alarm bells ringing in the ruling Congress. The Akalis are said to be in talks with the Left parties as well.
Meanwhile, the dissenting leaders, who were indicated that the party high command would take a call on the committee’s suggestions by June 15, have decided to wait for its decision.
“We put forth our viewpoint without mincing words, telling the high command the problems and why it needs to intervene urgently. Now, it is for them to act,” one of them said.
The committee had submitted its report to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday after holding one-to-one discussions with close to 150 party lawmakers and functionaries from the state. Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar and former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa were among the prominent state leaders who met the central panel.