Chandigarh: With the first list of the Congress candidates for Punjab assembly elections, expected to be released by late on Thursday, the party is bracing up for the repercussions. Party insiders apprehend more serious problem for the Punjab Congress this time as compared to 2012 when the party’s defeat was attributed mainly to the wrong selection of the candidates and a number of rebels in the fray.
Highly placed sources, privy to the screening and shortlisting of the candidates, disclosed that the Punjab Congress Committee (PCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh has been asked to hold on the possible induction of a few more Akali candidates, till the release of the candidates’ list.
Captain Amarinder, however, is understood to have explained to the party high command that once the list is finalised there is unlikelihood of more Akali MLAs switching sides as that will leave hardly any interest for them to join the Congress.
The PCC chief, is said to be facing a tough time to accommodate some ‘turncoats’ in the final list. Senior Congress leaders have been opposing to nominating the turncoats and are strongly arguing with the high command that there might be a powerful rebellion that may be difficult to curb.
Following objections by the Congress leaders who have been camping in New Delhi and seeking party tickets, Capt Amarinder Singh’s press conference, scheduled for Wednesday, was also postponed.
This is the second time when Amarinder’s press conference was postponed in last four days, because of the resentment over induction of Akalis and turncoats ignoring party’s long time loyalists.
With six sitting Akali MLAs, who were denied party tickets, having joined the Congress there is a strong resistance within the party against the indiscriminate induction. There is all likelihood of the Congress facing one of the worst rebellions once the tickets are announced.
There is much more resentment and outrage over the way these MLAs, rejected by their parent party, are being accommodated and rehabilitated with guaranteed tickets in the Congress, the insiders said.
Inderbir Singh Bolaria, Pargat Singh, Swaran Singh Philaur, Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike and Mahesh Inder Singh, all sitting Akali MLAs, apart from Dr Navjot Kaur Singh, wife of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former BJP MP from Amritsar, have reportedly been guaranteed the party tickets.
This has dismayed a number of ticket aspirants within the party and once the tickets are announced the party is set to face a massive rebellion, political observers say.
They also attribute party’s defeat in Punjab Assembly election 2012, to wrong selection of candidates by the Congress top brass.
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