Most Punjab Congress Lawmakers Stay Away from State Unit Chief's Rally

Most Punjab Congress Lawmakers Stay Away from State Unit Chief's Rally

The Congress rally in Punjab's Muktsar.

Muktsar:  At the historic 'magh fair' in Punjab's Muktsar, public rallies by political parties seemed to mirror the current volatile political situation in the state.

Congress's state unit chief Pratap Singh Bajwa had only four out of 44 Members of Legislative Assembly by his side at the rally organised by his party.

Captain Amarinder Singh, senior Congress leader and former Punjab Chief Minister, has openly sought a leadership change in the state unit.  

Former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Member of Parliament Mohinder Singh KP and newly appointed Youth Congress president Amarinder Singh Wading were the notable faces present on stage.

Invitations were also sent to senior party leader Ambika Soni and state co-in-charge Harish Chaudhary, but both of them decided to stay away, said sources.

On Sunday, Captain Singh had organised a lunch for his supporters at his palace in Patiala. 35 Members of Legislative Assembly of the Congress, along with several senior leaders, had attended the meeting and voiced support for the Captain's demand to remove Mr Bawja, said sources.

In an interview to NDTV recently, Captain Singh had claimed that he had the support of 40 lawmakers. (Captain Amarinder Seeks Change in Congress Leadership in Punjab)

Some supporters of Mr Bawja even got Captain Amarinder Singh's hoardings removed from the rally ground.

At the rally, the Pradesh Congress Committee chief targeted the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance.

"(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji had promised a fight against the drug menace in Punjab before the Lok Sabha polls, but his party is supporting the (Parkash Singh) Badal government. Whenever (BJP President) Amit Shah comes to Punjab, we will protest against him over the BJP's double speak," said Mr Bajwa.

The BJP leaders were, in fact, not far from the Congress' rally. They were at a rally organised by the Akali Dal, where BJP state unit chief Kamal Sharma shared center-stage with the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal.

Buoyed by the BJP leader's presence, Mr Badal took pot-shots at the Congress party, which, he said, had  predicted a "divorce" between the ruling partners and was "dreaming about the fall of the alliance government". 

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