In the backdrop of the dissent against Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa and the party’s dismal performance in the state civic body elections, he is likely to be replaced.
Sources in the Congress said that the decision has been taken in-principle to replace Bajwa with former Punjab minister, Lal Singh. An announcement to this effect is likely to be made on Monday.
While party general secretary incharge Dr Shakeel Ahmed said there was no decision on the issue yet, sources said that a consensus had been reached regarding Lal Singh taking over.
The camp backing Amritsar MP Capt Amarinder Singh, Bajwa’s bitter rival in the party, has however been pitching for Capt to be “working president” for the time being. The Amritsar MP could hold the reins of the party just ahead of the 2017 elections as incharge of the campaign committee.
The arrangement is acceptable to the Capt camp as Lal Singh is being seen as somebody who could work with the MP as opposed to Bajwa.
The decision to replace Bajwa has interestingly been taken in the absence of AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who is on leave. Party leaders said Rahul had gone on leave to facilitate certain changes in the AICC in his absence.
Sources said while the high command had made up its mind to replace Bajwa after party MLAs from the state met Rahul and sought a change in leadership, Bajwa was reportedly given an opportunity to get the MLAs on his side after returning to Punjab.
The decimation of the party in civic body election turned out to be a last nail in the coffin and he is likely to go.
Ever since Bajwa took over as the PPCC chief, he has been facing a formidable rival in Capt, who has seeking his removal. Incidentally it was Bajwa who provided Amarinder a new lease of political life after insisting that Capt be fielded against the BJP’s Arun Jaitley in Amirtsar. Amarinder eventually won.
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