Lashing out at those criticising the Congress decision of demanding affidavits of loyalty from those seeking tickets to contest municipal corporation elections, Congress leader and former Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Wednesday said that those who were loyal should not shy away from filing affidavits. For the first time, such affidavits have been sought. The affidavit would state that the person would remain loyal to the party and won’t desert it after winning the election.
“If the party requires applicants to file affidavits, those who are honest and loyal to the party should not hesitate or shy away from filing affidavits,” said Bansal, adding that all the 110 applicants have submitted affidavits.
He further stated, “I never had a group and I recognise no group. Congress is solid under the leadership of the high command. I have experience and I have a good idea of who is what and who left the party and when.”
Questioning the move of demanding affidavits, former Congress councillor Chandramukhi Sharma, who is said to belong to Congress leader Manish Tewari’s camp, said they had no sanctity. He even said that taking affidavits meant questioning the integrity of all those who stood by the Congress for years.
Besides affidavits, the Congress has even sought the recommendations of five voters from each polling booth with their names, phone numbers and signatures this time. So, if a ward has around 15 booths, an applicant will have to provide recommendations of 75 people with their details.
Congress leaders said this was being introduced in the form for the first time to find out whether a person was actually popular among the residents of his ward. Earlier, ticket seekers had to give the recommendations of only two Congress office-bearers.
Chhabra’s meet with Kumari postponed
Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra was to meet Asha Kumari, the newly appointed in-charge of Punjab and Chandigarh affairs to discuss the defiance being shown by those belonging to Manish Tewari’s camp. However, due to a meeting of the Punjab Congress as the state is going to polls in early 2017, the meeting has been postponed. Incidentally, Tewari’s camp has been opposing every move of the Bansal camp.