Having received a setback after the rail bribery scam,a beleaguered Congress seems to have started making attempts to revive itself in the city. Local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal whose visibility in the city had drastically reduced over the past more than a month attended several programmes on Sunday. Extending their support were the local leaders who had arranged the programmes and showered praise on him for the work he had undertaken over the years.
The city unit of the Congress had gone into a huddle after the rail bribery scam came to light. Vijay Singla,the nephew of Bansal,was arrested by the CBI on May 3 for accepting a bribe from a member of the Railway Board. In the developments that followed,Bansal was forced to step down from the Railways Ministry.
Over the past month and a half,all activity in the party was derailed. While Bansal attended one event last weekend,his schedule seemed chock-a-block on Sunday. A meeting was organised by the District Congress Committee which was attended by Bansal to decide the partys strategy in the next Lok Sabha elections. It was decided that this time the party would increase its membership from 30,000 to 50,000.
Bansal also went to a meeting organised by the housing societies in southern sectors. The members of various associations presented a memorandum to him demanding several facilities. A public meeting was organised by the Youth Congress at Manimajra. Here,the Congress leaders who addressed the gathering praised Bansal for his contribution to the citys development. Bansal,who addressed the gathering,appeared confident. Also present with him was his wife Madhu Bansal.
The Congress leaders credited Bansal with announcing trains to connect Chandigarh to several religious destinations and termed him a religious person. He was also credited for ensuring that the power tariff was not hiked this year. While there were references to how the city was affected due to Bansals resignation from the Railways Ministry,not many spoke about the issue.
After Bansal was made the Railways Minister,activity was suddenly witnessed at the Railway Station with new schemes getting underway. The much-delayed Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link was opened and new trains started. A number of new trains were announced in the Railway Budget. Every weekend the Congress held a number of programmes in the city with Bansal being present. All this came to a sudden halt with the rail bribery scam.