Amid continued political bickering, the process for a revamp of the Punjab unit of the Congress party at grassroot levels has begun. Former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s home constituency Patiala tops the list in the first phase.
Senior Congress leaders led by Harish Chaudhary, the AICC general secretary in charge of the party’s affairs in Punjab, have started interacting with workers in Patiala on Sunday. On the first day, noticeable absentees included Patiala MP and Captain’s wife Preneet Kaur.
While Captain recently quit and announced formation of his own political party, Kaur is yet to resign from Congress.
Sources in Congress said that senior leaders were likely to hold meetings with various district leaders and also interact with grassroots workers. Patiala was chosen as the first constituency for a rejig to `shunt out’ all leaders in the area who happen to be close to Captain, they said.
The Patiala unit has seen pro and anti-Captain leaders taken on each other. “Lots of confusion in Patiala given that some leaders still are cozying up to the former CM. Hence, it is important to send out a message to such elements. That’s why rejig here is very necessary,’’ commented a leader.
Senior leaders said that the meeting would ensure that the Captain stamp on the district Congress is removed. It is the first such rejig meeting called by Chaudhary after taking over from Harish Rawat. “The meetings will continue for the next few days after which Patiala congress will get a new body in place which doesn’t have anyone close to Capt on board,’’ another leader said.
Sources said that appointments in the Congress district unit, posts of Patiala mayor and many chairmen were being discussed and party workers will be heard before any decision was made. They said that leaders led by Madan Lala Jalalpur, known from the anti-Captain camp, were calling the shots now, vis-à-vis, restructuring at the grassroot level in Patiala.
With inputs from News18