The confrontation between the two leaders began in July when Swaraj gave a statement in the Lok Sabha that the 39 Indians who have been missing is Iraq since 2014 where lodged in a jail in Badush town of Iraq.
“Jakhar is the PPCC president. He is within all his rights to kick off party’s campaign,” said a party leader, saying his candidature was final and only an announcement was awaited.
Partap Singh Bajwa, Lal Singh and former CLP leader Sunil Kumar Jakhar are among the frontrunners in the Congress in the race for a berth in Rajya Sabha in Punjab.
Several MLAs of Amarinder camp were upset that he did not take them into confidence before planning to meet Bajwa.
The ‘lunch diplomacy’ was reminiscent of a similar meeting held by his bete noire, Capt Amarinder Singh, when Bajwa had taken over as PPCC president three years ago.
Amarinder had unsettled him through such meetings
Bajwa is reportedly upset with Amarinder, who often criticised him openly and kept him unsettled for almost three years.
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had dared Amarinder to hold a similar rally.
The Congress on Friday handed over the reins of Punjab Congress to former CM Captain Amarinder Singh replacing Partap Singh Bajwa.
Though he has won his battle with Bajwa, Amarinder now faces a far greater task of making a party, that has lost two successive elections, attractive in a state that appears to be looking at alternate choices.
Punjab Cong chief resigned at the direction of the high command to enable a reshuffle a year ahead of polls.
Rahul is said to be reluctant about giving the mantle of Punjab to Captain, will have little choice in the case of most MLAs backing the former chief minister.
Bajwa had claimed that AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi would participate in the padyatra and had even worked out the minute details: It was to begin from Pathankot and was to be completed in six phases.
In Bajwa’s absence, the Congress event was dominated by supporters of his bete noire in the part, Amritsar MP Captain Amarinder Singh.
Tewari however, said Bajwa has had a long innings in the Congress and everyone had supported his elevation to state party chief’s post.