Phagwara: Two factions of Punjab Congress came to blows over fixing a party poster ahead of a conference of the party’s women wing here.
The incident took place late last night with one faction of the party accusing the other of attacking its supporters. A conference of Mahila wing of the party is scheduled to be held today in which Mahila Congress national President Shobha Ojha and former Punjab Chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal will address the workers. The conference is being organised by Punjab Mahila Congress Vice-President Balbir Rani Sodhi, who is also a contender for the party ticket from Phagwara. The other faction led by District Congress President Joginder Singh Mann, has accused Sodhi of trying to sideline its members. When Mann’s supporters went at the venue in Satnampura road here to fix the board carrying the picture of the leader and his group, the Sodhi group allegedly opposed it. It also led to an altercation between members of the two factions.
A police contingent, led by DSP Manpreet Singh Dhillon, rushed to the site to control the situation. Dhillon today said the force will continue to be deployed at the venue till the conference was over. Saurav Khullar of Sodhi group told reporters from a hospital that the rival group was led by DCC President’s son Harnoor Singh Mann, his supporters Sunny Mann, Gopi Bedi and others. He alleged that they attacked him with rods and sharp-edged weapons, leaving him injured. However, Harnoor Singh Mann, when contacted, said he was unaware about the incident. Notably, Mann and Sodhi factions have long-standing hostility.
Mann had represented Phagwara (reserved) Assembly constituency thrice and had remained a Cabinet minister. But PPCC General Secretary Balbir Raja Sodhi was given ticket in 2012 but he lost to BJP. Sodhi had blamed the Mann group for his defeat. PTI
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