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New CLP leader talks battle ready to boost morale

Heralding change of old guard in the state Congress,three-time Abohar MLA Sunil Jakhar on Monday took over the reigns of the Congress Legislative Party.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh |
March 20, 2012 3:21:07 am

Heralding change of old guard in the state Congress,three-time Abohar MLA Sunil Jakhar on Monday took over the reigns of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP). His first message to the “demoralised” party cadres and ruling alliance was clear — “I salute my party workers and we will take on this power-drunk government head on.”

Describing losing the poll battle as a twist of fate,Jakhar said Congress was are sitting in the Opposition even after getting the highest vote share. “None of us in Congress is content with our individual victory nor are we satisfied with merely citing liquor or money as reasons for our defeat,” he added.

But his elevation has once again brought the fissures within the party to the fore,as just a handful of MLAs and leaders turned up to mark the occasion. The central leadership too was conspicuous by its absence,including state Affairs in-charge Gulchain Singh Charak. The discomfort of balancing between the two warring factions was visible on Jakhar’s face of as he tried to give due credit to outgoing CLP leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal “for her graciousness” and giving an opportunity to learn from her experience.

But the event was high on political symbolism and set the tone for things to come. Team Amarinder managed to show Jakhar was their man. As he sat flanked by Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh,the only company for Jakhar other than Bhattal was of Amarinder loyalists like Laal Singh,Rana Gurmit Sodhi and Arvind Khanna.

However,political analysts feel the war of succession between the two main factions will heat up after Bhattal’s nominee Brahm Mohindra was given a go-by for Jakhar. However,an articulate and astute politician,Jakhar is likely to tread the tightrope to do what he declared was his mission. His play of words on the opening day are an indication.

“We will play the role of a positive but strong Opposition. The promises and dreams sold by Akalis have got them votes but we will stand guard to see that they are fulfilled. We will make people see through their deceit. They have drained the treasury but as I wish Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for being more than lucky for becoming the CM for fifth time,we will meet them more than half the way,both inside and outside the Assembly,” he said.

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