Zila Parishad polls: Jandiali’s selection leaves veteran Congress leader miffed
The appointment of Congress leader Yadvinder Singh Jandiali, said to be a close aide of MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, as the zila parishad president has triggered bickering in the party’s rural camp of Ludhiana district.
Terming it a ‘back-door appointment’, veteran Congress leader Gurdev Singh Lapran, who was considered to be the front-runner for the post, said he would register his protest in front of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
“The history has repeated itself. Even in 1994, during the then Congress government led by Beant Singh, I was denied a chance,” he rued.
Party sources say that Jandiali’s selection had sparked a debate in the meeting attended by cabinet minister Sukhbinder Singh Sukh Sarkaria at the circuit house on Wednesday.
While legislators, including Bittu’s cousin and Khanna MLA Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Samrala MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon and Payal MLA Lakhvir Singh Lakha, had proposed the name of Jandiali, Lapran sought secret voting of all 25 zila parishad members and 13 block samiti members for the election of the president.
“Miffed at the argument, Sarkaria snubbed Lapran, saying that Capt Amarinder Singh had recommended Jandiali’s name and through this debate, Lapran was trying to override CM’s decision. On this, Lapran walked out of the meeting,” said the party worker who was present during the meet.
However, Lapran denied walking out of the venue.
“Yes, I was dejected as I wanted all members to elect their representative. Obviously, I have been refused the chance and I have every right to express my grouse in front of the CM,” he said.
Results of panchayat samiti and zila parishad elections were declared on September 22 last year wherein the Congress had registered a thumping victory amid vote-rigging allegations.
But for over a year, no announcement was made as to who would be made the chief.
One of the winners in the zila parishad election said many development projects in the villages were stalled due to no representative.