Once his bete noire, former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa today played host to the party’s present state president, Amarinder Singh and other senior leaders at his house in Qadian in the district.
Bajwa hosted lunch for Amarinder and other party leaders who had gone to Gurdaspur to pay homage to two soldiers who had laid down their lives fighting terrorists during the recent Pathankot airbase attack.
“Warmth and friendliness” were visible between both the state Congress leaders who were once engaged in a bitter war of words after Amarinder had “gunned for” Bajwa in an attempt to oust him from the post of PPCC chief.
Amarinder, accompanied by campaign committee chairperson Ambika Soni, general secretary (in-charge) Shakeel Ahmad, secretary (in-charge) Harish Chaudhary, CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi, Bajwa and other senior leaders, had gone to pay homage to two martyrs Honorary Captain Fateh Singh in Jhanda Gujaran and Subedar Kulwant Singh in Chak Sahrif village in Gurdaspur district today.
Both the villages — Jhanda Gujaran and Chak Sahrif — fall within the Qadian Assembly constituency which is currently represented by Bajwa’s wife Charanjit Kaur Bajwa.
“He (Amarinder) is like brother to me and also the state party president. We are hardcore congressmen,” said Bajwa when asked about the lunch at his house.
“For Amarinder, it is like homecoming,” he said, adding that the two leaders had lunch or dinner together for the first time in three years.
“I had organised lunch for all the Congress leaders here as we had gone together to pay homage to our martyrs,” said Bajwa. “It also sends a message to grassroot party workers that the party is united,” he added.
Amarinder, who had spearheaded a rebellion against Bajwa, had, in the past, organised lunches for MLAs, at his house in Moti Mahal in Patiala, without inviting Bajwa.
The two leaders were entangled in a bitter factional fight for more than a year after Amarinder had first demanded Bajwa’s removal from the post of PPCC chief in November, 2014.
Amarinder was appointed the new PPCC chief, replacing Bajwa, in a major reshuffle of the party’s state unit on November 27, 2015.
Punjab is slated to go for Assembly polls in 2017.
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