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Punjab Cong restructuring delayed again

Punjab.PRADESH. CONGRESS. COMMITTEE

New Delhi: Amidst infighting rife in Punjab Congress ranks, any move to restructure the state unit of the party can only come after another fortnight with top leaders away on foreign visits, sources said.

According to sources, the party’s restructuring will now be announced once senior leader and former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh gets back from London early next month and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi returns from his US visit.

The sources said that the restructuring was to be announced by Congress after its top brass held many rounds of consultations with senior leaders from the state. But it was held up after Amarinder reportedly said he was “not satisfied” with the arrangement.

“The ambivalence on the issue of PCC chief in Punjab is likely to end in the next fortnight,” said AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs, Shakeel Ahmed.

Party sources said that a consensus was being evolved and a decision will be taken once all seniors leaders are satisfied. A final round of consultation with top leaders is likely before an announcement.

The Congress leadership is, meanwhile, reported to be worried over the open war of words between incumbent state unit chief Partap Singh Bajwa and Amarinder, who has been demanding the former’s replacement.

Bajwa recently charged that Amarinder plans to betray Congress by forming his own party to help BJP. The Congress leadership has told the two leaders to raise differences only in party fora and not bicker openly.

A section within the party, however, is opposed to leaving everything in the hands of Amarinder.

“Amarinder wants everything and how can the party afford to give everything to one person. There has to be a balance,” a senior party leader said on condition of anonymity.

The Congress high command is likely to soon replace the party’s faction-riven Punjab unit with a “consensus” PCC so as to put up a united face ahead of the next Assembly elections, slated for early 2017.

According to sources, the party is working on a formula wherein all sections are accommodated to the satisfaction of prominent leaders in Punjab as it tries to end factionalism following defeat at the hands of the Akali Dal-BJP combine in back-to-back Assembly polls.

PTI