Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to reach Jalandhar for a dharna against the drugs and law and order problem in poll bound Punjab
Jalandhar: Ahead of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Jalandhar for a dharna on Monday against drugs and law & order problem in poll bound Punjab, infighting among the congress leaders came to the fore once again raising questions over the party’s functioning.
From the senior congress leaders to the local party workers, all remained confined to groupism from top to bottom. A majority of the leaders also put up pictures of meetings conducted by them on Facebook, apparently in a bid to prove show of strength but that in turn brought party infighting out in the open.
On the other hand, the sudden announcement of Kamal Nath’s name as the Punjab Affairs incharge also left the congress leaders in a tizzy, as all the billboards carried the pictures of Shakeel Ahmed, congress general secretary and ex-Punjab Affairs incharge till evening.
Notably, the billboards put up by the congress leaders also showed the rampant groupism within the party, as the local leaders ensured that rivals didn’t get space. The billboard put up by Municipal Corporation councilor Sushil Rinku, who was eyeing the crucial Jalandhar West urban dalit seat in the forthcoming elections ensured that the pictures of ex- MP and senior congress leader Mohinder Singh Kaypee was not carried. Senior congress leader and ex-Transport Minister Avtar Singh Henry’s pictures were also missing from Rinku’s boards.
Interestingly, councilor Sushil Rinku’s party meeting was supported by none other than Jalandhar MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary, who were known for differences with Mohinder Singh Kaypee.
While Kaypee was missing from the meeting conducted by Rinku in Jalandhar West assembly segment on Sunday, Jalandhar MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh along with his son ex-Punjab Youth Congress chief Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary was at the forefront in his meeting. The Chaudhary father-son had also put up pictures of meeting with Rinku on Facebook.
Mohinder Singh Kaypee remained absent from the scene in his Jalandhar West constituency whereas Sushil Rinku supported by senior congress leaders stole the show.
Similarly, congress leader Tejinder Singh Bittu, who was a ticket claimant from Jalandhar Cantt assembly seat also didn’t carry the picture of any local leader. His billboards carried the pictures of Priyanka Gandhi alone.
In Jalandhar Central assembly segment, Congress Jalandhar (Urban) president Rajinder Beri held a good show of strength while ex-MLA from the same constituency Raj Kumar Gupta held a separate meeting.
Sources maintained that even as open infighting within the party has come to the fore once again, the congress rank and file was directed to make the dharna a success. “We have got permission for 5000 people in the dharna from the district administration and the police. However, we were expecting close to 25,000 people in the dharna, as workers were enthused to reach out to the Gandhi scion and lead the party’s agenda against drugs abuse and deteriorating law and order problem”, said MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary.
Earlier, in the day, senior congress leaders and workers remained on their toes for putting up a large tent, billboards and checking basic arrangements. A heavy police was deployed at major intersections of the city and its periphery. A team of Special Protection Group (SPG) has been camping in the city and inspected arrangements for the dharna.
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