Internal rumblings out in open as Pawan Bansal skips Manish Tewari’s meet with party workers - Hindustan Times
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Internal rumblings out in open as Pawan Bansal skips Manish Tewari’s meet with party workers

By, Chandigarh
Apr 16, 2024 05:02 AM IST

Not just this, 60-odd party leaders and workers, including Chandigarh Mahila Congress president Deipa Dubey, resigned from their posts over an Instagram post liked by the party’s city unit chief HS Lucky.

Internal rumblings within the Congress were out in the open as its Chandigarh candidate Manish Tewari met party workers on Monday, even as four-time MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was eyeing the ticket, skipped the event.

Congress candidate Manish Tewari with party leaders and workers at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan in Sector 35, Chandigarh, on Monday. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Congress candidate Manish Tewari with party leaders and workers at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan in Sector 35, Chandigarh, on Monday. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Not just this, 60-odd party leaders and workers, including Chandigarh Mahila Congress president Deipa Dubey, resigned from their posts over an Instagram post liked by the party’s city unit chief HS Lucky.

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Meanwhile, Chandigarh Youth Akali Dal president, Vinayak Bangia resigned from the party in support of Bansal and later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the evening.

Congress’ city unit vice-president Hafiz Anwar Ul Haq also resigned from his post citing “Lucky’s functioning”.

On Sunday, the local unit secretary Nitin Rai Chauhan had also resigned from his post in support of Pawan Bansal. Most of the resignations are being dubbed as those from Bansal’s supporters.

The Congress had announced Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari’s candidature from Chandigarh on Saturday, overlooking former union minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, who had even started his campaign in the city for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

This was Tewari’s first meeting with party workers

after the Congress party named him as the Chandigarh nominee for the upcoming Parliamentary elections. The voting in Chandigarh will be held on June 1.

Could not attend event as I was busy, but am always with Cong:Bansal

Talking to HT, Bansal said that he could not attend the first meeting of Tewari with the party workers as he was preoccupied.

When asked whether he was invited for the meeting, Bansal replied that there were many missed calls from party dignitaries which he saw only later in the day.

“My full support and wishes are with the Congress, always,” he said. Lucky, on the other hand, said they had invited Bansal for the meeting but are not aware of the reason for his absence. “We invited Bansal ji for the meeting today, but don’t know why he did not come,” he said.

Mahila Congress chief resigns, spearheads protests at Sector 15

Meanwhile, speaking about the resignations, Dubey said these have been triggered by an Instagram post, mocking Bansal, that Lucky had liked. The post read: “Pawan Bansal ke sath ho gaya khel, Manish Tewari Chandigarh se ummeedwar, Congress party ne ghoshit kiya naam. Congratulations, Congress party zindabad HS Lucky, Manoj Lubana bhai zindabad (Pawan Bansal tricked, Manish Tewari announced as Congress candidate from Chandigarh. Congratulations, long live the Congress, long live HS Lucky, Manoj Lubana.”

It was accompanied by a picture of Tewari, Lucky and the party’s youth wing president Lubana. Dubey, along with her supporters, also held a protest against Lucky in Sector 15.

Dubey, who resigned from her post along with 61 others, said they have submitted their resignation to National Congress President Malikarjun Kharge.

“Lucky is an arrogant man and has made the Congress office a den of property dealers. We have resigned from our posts until Lucky submits his resignation as party chief. We do not have anything against Manish Tewari but we will not tolerate any insult to Bansal ji,” she said.

I don’t handle my Instagram account, says Lucky

Lucky said that the party is united and that “one or two elements are trying to sabotage the party’s reputation” ahead of elections. “There is no disruption. I do not even know of any such post. I don’t even handle my Instagram account,” he said.

Rose petal shower, garlands: Tewari receives warm welcome

Tewari reached Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan in Sector 35 around noon and was given a grand welcome, with a large number of party workers jostling amongst each other to present him with bouquets and garlands amid a shower of rose petals. Interestingly, no leader from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the alliance partner of Congress, was present at the event.

AAP, however, clarified that they would meet Tewari separately on Tuesday and that Monday’s event was an internal Congress party event.

In his address to workers, HS Lucky responded to Tewari being labelled as an outsider by BJP and stated that the fact is that their (saffron party) candidate, Sanjay Tandon, is an outsider.

“Sanjay Tandon was born in Amritsar and came to the city much later. He hasn’t even fought any election. Hence, Tandon is the outsider, not Tewari ji,” said Lucky.

Tewari, in his address in Punjabi, said he brings with himself a wealth of experience and knowledge of being an MP both from Ludhiana and Anandpur Sahib and will fight tooth and nail for the development of the city. He stated that it is a battle to form the national government and to save the democracy.

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