After pushing the Food Security ordinance,the AICC will train young leaders with understanding of state as well as national policies as spokespersons on its flagship schemes. The two-day training camp will be held in Delhi on July 22 and 23,where delegates recommended by the Pradesh Congress committees (PCC) of different states will be familiarised with Central schemes and groomed to speak on them.
But the selection of five educated,young and dynamic people by PCC president Partap Singh Bajwa has flared tempers in the faction-ridden Punjab Congress. They are Raman Subramanium,Nimisha Mehta,Sukhpal Singh Khaira,Rajanbir Singh and Jaiveer Shergill.
In choosing them,Bajwa has completely ignored his own turf,Majha,and picked four out of the five from Doaba region. The fifth,Raman Subramanium from Ludhiana,is known to few others than Bajwa. The only woman face in the list,Nimisha Mehta,has ruffled the feathers of Punjab Mahila Congress president Malti Thapar,who has been unhappy with her performance. Thapar had served a showcause notice on her for not performing assigned duties and shifted her from Amritsar to Tarn Taran.
Mehta has not replied to the notice,which said she was not attending meetings,performing her duties and is only seen in media reports. According to sources,Thapar has written against her selection to AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab,Shakeel Ahmed,and secretary in-charge Harish Chaudhary. Incidentally,one of the party vice-presidents,Tarlochan Singh,too had complained against Mehta for anti-party activities.
When contacted,Thapar said she has brought all relevant information to the notice of the party high command and would not like to comment on the issue.
Meanwhile,the name of Subramanium from Ludhiana has not gone down well with Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari. Likewise,Majha leaders are upset at being totally neglected by the president,who hails from the region.
Bajwa maintained that he has recommended the names of young,educated people with impressive profiles. It is not important that we try to strike regional balance in everything. They need people who are aware of state and Central policies to sharpen their communication skills and knowledge about Central schemes. The party had specifically asked for fresh faces and I have gone by their directions. Mehta has been chosen on the basis of her work while Subramanium has been heading monitoring of Central flagship schemes in Punjab. Khaira is already a PCC spokesman, he said.
Terming the selection of all five as a miscalculated move,a senior leader said: While Nimisha is among the chosen few for her proximity to some influential MLAs,Rajanbir Singh son of former finance minister Balwant Singh has been working behind the scenes for Bajwa. Jaiveer Shergill is just a high-flying young Supreme Court lawyer made to head partys legal cell. In all,it is Bajwas way of showing he is building his own team.