Defeated candidates keen on Capt’s invite,stormy session likely today

Having lost the January 30 polls,Congress factions in Punjab are relishing the game of checkmate.

Written by Sukhdeep Kaur | Chandigarh | Published: April 4, 2012 12:11:19 am

Having lost the January 30 polls,Congress factions in Punjab are relishing the game of checkmate. With no parallel meets on Wednesday in New Delhi and Chandigarh,a face-off between those batting for and against state Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh seems inevitable.

By late Tuesday evening,state Congress affairs in-charge Gulchain Singh Charak — who had summoned warring party leaders to New Delhi on Wednesday for breaking party discipline and airing their differences to media — informed them that they can meet him on April 5. Charak,when contacted,said the leaders had been earlier asked to come to New Delhi on April 4 and have an one-to-one discussion with him. “But those unable to do so can also meet me the next day,” he said.

This signifies that the meeting of the 71 candidates who lost polls,called by Amarinder in Chandigarh on Wednesday,may now see full attendance of his detractors.

Not reading the clash of dates as a coincidence,Amarinder-baiters common on both the lists had made up their mind to accept Captain’s invite. The many rival factions represented by Bhattal,Pratap Bajwa,Ripjit Brar,Sukhpal Khaira have closed ranks in the “oust Amarinder campaign” and first debated between giving the Chandigarh meet a miss and make it a flop show. However,later it was decided to skip Charak’s invite and throng Captain’s meeting to “speak the truth”.

“We have decided to attend the meeting in Chandigarh,as we want to speak our mind. We will ask Amarinder to make a respectable exit and not be cowed down or intimated by anyone from speaking the truth,” former MLA Sukhpal Khiara said.

A majority of the 71 defeated candidates are expected to attend the Chandigarh meeting. The session is likely to be stormy with vocal Amarinder baiters such as Khaira,Ripjit,Surinderpal Sibia,Mangat Rai Bansal,Sardool Singh,Isher Singh Meherbaan,Jasjit Randawa and Shailenderjit Shelly among others deciding to demand his ouster.

A few such as Avtar Brar,who have raised their voice of dissent against Amarinder,said they will give the meeting a miss. “What purpose will it serve to take my case to the very person I have a grouse against?” asked Brar,who does not want to be seen openly taking on Amarinder owing to his long association with him.

Meanwhile,after Charak’s meet was deferred,the Amarinder camp has been planning how to counter the opposition and end the meeting on winning note — expression of solidarity for their beleaguered party chief.

Congress leaders and workers from Faridkot districts on Tuesday blackened posters of party chief Captain Amarinder Singh’s picture. Their anger and frustration stemmed from “having lost an election which we could have won easily,” says Congress Sewa Dal president Dr Jagir Singh.

LocalCongress leaders and workers met on Tuesday and vented their feelings openly.

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