Cong battle of one-upmanship flares up - ECAS Punjab

Cong battle of one-upmanship flares up

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Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 7

The Congress has been hit by another crisis, this time in Punjab, where rival groups are demanding each other's removal with the state unit petitioning party chief Sonia Gandhi for the expulsion of two Rajya Sabha MPs.

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said he had written to Sonia Gandhi, seeking the expulsion of Rajya Sabha MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo for "anti-party activities". The two MPs have been attacking Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and his government over the liquor tragedy.

On the other hand, Bajwa demanded the removal of both Capt Amarinder Singh and Jakhar, saying it was against Congress' interests to continue with the two leaders. "We only asked for an investigation against the liquor mafia in Punjab, not against the CM. There have been huge losses due to thriving illegal distilleries in the state. We demand that Capt Amarinder and Jakhar be removed or else the party will lose its relevance in Punjab," Bajwa said, adding that he would keep raising issues in the interest of the state.

AICC incharge for Punjab Asha Kumari said the central disciplinary committee, led by AK Antony, was the competent authority to consider the matter and the state unit could not directly expel MPs. She said: "Leaders should refrain from sparring in public and must talk on party fora."

Jakhar said: "The Congress should introspect how people with such low self-esteem could rise to high positions in the party and get rewarded with Rajya Sabha berths even as they betrayed their own party for some gunmen." He wondered how Bajwa's security was upgraded recently when the security of all other Opposition leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi, was withdrawn.

from The Tribune

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