Sending jitters to Congress leader Pawan Bansal’s loyalists, former Union minister Manish Tewari has applied for membership in the Chandigarh unit. The elections for 25 office bearers would be held, out of which one would be elected the president of the Chandigarh Congress unit. Sources said this time, Tewari’s loyalists were trying to have a hold on the city unit. Congress members, Chandramkukhi Sharma and Gurbachan Singh, who are also Tewari’s loyalists, have also applied.
The new unit would have a say in the selection of candidates for the municipal corporation elections as well. Also, to contest for the Lok Sabha elections, one has to be the primary member. Till now, only Congress leader Pawan Bansal’s aide Pardeep Chhabra and other loyalists were running the city unit. Chandigarh Congress president Pardeep Chhabra said: “Yes we have received membership application from these members. A screening committee would conduct scrutiny of all the applications.”
On Chhabra’s appointment as the city president, several questions were raised by other party members that senior leaders were ignored. As a result in the municipal elections too, senior leaders were not consulted and the party did badly. The city unit even went ahead expelling Chandramukhi Sharma stating that he worked to make the candidate from that respective ward lose by fielding his brother as an Independent candidate.
A Congress member said: “Till now, members have been selected by choice. And this was objected. So now, elections are being conducted in a proper manner. The worker who works on the ground is ignored while those who do nothing are appointed as office bearers.” In the last meeting with Congress leader Mool Chand Meena, members were up in arms against Bansal and Chhabra. While discussing the party’s performance in the municipal elections, the Congress members raised that only favourites were given tickets while no merit was considered.
One member even went to the extent of saying that Congress would come third and even Independent candidates would win, if such a situation continues.