Punjab Congress president, CLP leader resign; reshuffle on cards

New Delhi: After uncertainty in recent months, the Punjab Congress is headed for a reshuffle after state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa and Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar resigned from their posts, party general secretary Shakeel Ahmad said on Thursday.
“Bajwa and Jakhar have resigned. Their resignations were accepted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to facilitate further reshuffle in the party’s Punjab unit,” Ahmad told.
The development came just days after party vice president Rahul Gandhi visited Punjab amid factionalism in the state unit. The move is being seen as one aimed to strengthen the Congress ahead of the 2017 assembly polls.
Jakhar, a soft spoken and suave leader, resigned to help the reshuffle in the state Congress unit, party sources said. Former chief minister Amarinder Singh, who is presently the Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha and member from Amritsar, is likely to be announced as the next Punjab Congress president.
Some party leaders were demanding appointment of Amarinder Singh as the state unit chief.
Bajwa, who was made Punjab Congress chief in early 2013, could not get the top party leadership along. He and Amarinder Singh were openly indulging in a war of words.
In the 2014 general election, Bajwa lost from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat while Amarinder Singh triumphed from Amritsar by defeating BJP candidate Arun Jaitley, who is now the union finance minister, by over one lakh votes.