All India Congress Committee secretary Asha Kumari on Wednesday blamed politics in the Chandigarh Congress unit for the poor results of the party in the municipal elections. The Himachal MLA, who was given the charge of Chandigarh MC elections, said a wrong strategy was adopted by the Chandigarh Congress unit. Kumari told the Chandigarh Newsline: “Certainly, there was something wrong in the strategy adopted by the local Chandigarh unit and introspection would be done.”
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Asked if it was infighting within the Congress unit that led to such results, she said: “I was given the charge in the middle of the election process. Local politics in this unit was there and it would be analysed.” She added that the Chandigarh municipal election results was not the win of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the loss of Congress in the city.
“It is not that PM Modi or BJP won. It is essentially the loss of the local Congress unit,” Kumari said. Commenting on the resignation of city Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra, Kumari said her office was yet to receive it and if she receives it, she would forward it to the high command. Kumari said the results were not going to impact the Punjab Assembly elections next year.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leaders Chander Mukhi Sharma, Gurbachan Singh and others said former MP Pawan Bansal should be expelled from the party. “I, along with principal Gurbachan Singh, will meet the party high command and demand that Bansal and company should not be allowed to continue at the helm of Congress affairs in Chandigarh,” said Sharma.
He added that before the polls, they had already pointed out that the choice of candidates was not right and Bansal was not involving anyone else other than Pradeep Chhabra. “They had created a private company like structure and were obliging people close to them,” Sharma said.
On Chhabra’s role, the senior leader said: “Chhabra should have asserted himself as the party president and should not have completely surrendered to Pawan Bansal’s wishes and decisions, which went completely wrong. Defeat in MC polls is not of Congress, but entirely of Pawan Bansal.” These leaders had alleged during the elections that senior leaders were not being involved in the election process and there was no proper structure of a party during the polls.