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Monthly expense bill up to Rs 4 lakh,state Cong office needs ‘in-charge’ to arrange it

Bajwa appointed brother after Capt’s team stopped ‘pitching in’

Written by Sukhdeep Kaur | Chandigarh | Updated: April 16, 2014 4:19:35 pm

Bajwa appointed brother after Capt’s team stopped ‘pitching in’

Advertisements,rallies and those occasional get-togethers do not come for free. Add to it salaries of staff and utility bills. So,among the first few appointments made by new Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa,which he had to roll back,was to appoint younger brother Fateh Jung Bajwa as the general secretary in-charge of the Congress office.

Reasons for the hurry also lie in the monthly expense bill of the Punjab Congress office. After it was given a corporate makeover by Bajwa’s predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh’s team through LCDs,CCTV cameras,IT professionals,not to forget packaged drinking water and sandwiches during press conferences and events,the routine expenses of the office went up to nearly Rs 4 lakh per month. For organising rallies,political conferences during melas and issuing advertisements,it shot manifold..

The party office was “managed” by vice-president in-charge of Congress office,Laal Singh,office secretary Capt Sandeep Sandhu and general secretary attached to the PCC president,Arvind Khanna. They arranged the contributions —- Khanna through his own pocket. With change of guard in the state,Capt’s team stopped pitching in. Khanna,when contacted,said he was not in-charge of the Congress office but a general secretary attached to the PCC president. “I coordinated the PCC president’s tours and programmes,” he added.

For his “picture-perfect” coronation and arrangements for political conferences,including Hola Mohalla,Bajwa turned to one he could trust the most —- younger brother Fateh. Already a general secretary in Amarinder’s PCC,Fateh returned to “family fold” after his brother’s elevation to the top job. Though even his detractors say it was his prerogative as PCC chief to redistribute duties,Bajwa was forced to roll back his first few appointments.

Defending his appointment,Fateh said all vice-presidents and general secretaries in the PCC are MLAs and he was the only one left out after the ticket to contest the elections was given to his sister-in-law Charanjit Bajwa. “I was not in-charge of anything specific,so was appointed to look after the office. I have been a spokesman of the party during the tenures of Amarinder and his predecessor Mohinder Singh Kaypee. Such duties are not being given to me for being the PCC president’s brother,” Fateh said.

On arranging funds for running the office,he said the party provides funds and managing them is the job of the cashier. “My work involves looking after arrangements. On the installation day,I was overseeing the stage management and coordinating cars and buses from all the constituencies,” he added.

‘Devil quoting scriptures’: Cong hits back at Dhindsa

Chandigarh: The Punjab Congress Friday hit back at SAD general secretary Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa for his “sympathies” to new PCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa. “The appointment of Bajwa,a grassroot leader as president of PCC has sent shivers down the spine of Badals. Dhindsa should first introspect and find out why he still stands at tail end in the party and is subordinate to juniors like Bikram Singh Majithia. His observation on Congress and PCC president was like devil quoting the scriptures,” Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla said.

Capt,senior MLAs give Channi visit a miss

Patiala: Senior MLAs and district Congress leaders preferred to stay away from the first visit of Charanjit Channi,(MLA Chamkaur Sahib) one of the four vice presidents of Punjab Congress here Friday. While former chief minister and city MLA,Capt Amarinder Singh,gave it a miss,his wife and Patiala MP and Union state minister Preneet Kaur attended the meeting,which was called by Channi to mobilise Congress workers to welcome newly appointed PCC president Partap Singh Bajwa,on his first visit next week.

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