Women Congress leaders in Chandigarh today marked the International Women's Day by holding a protest near the party office - Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan - saying they were not allowed access to the party office for a Women's Day special event.
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation's ex-mayor Poonam Sharma, who led the protest, said she had planned an event at the party office to celebrate the International Women's Day.
She had also invited Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who is seeking Congress ticket for general elections from Chandigarh.
Ms Sharma said she arrived at the party office in the morning and found that it was locked.
"I contacted Pradeep Chhabra, Chandigarh Congress president, who I had informed about the event schedule on Thursday. He clearly told that he won't allow anyone to hold any event today as other ticket seekers may also then want to hold events. He then disconnected the phone," said Ms Sharma.
Internal tussle between ticket seekers for Chandigrah like former member of parliament Pawan Bansal, ex-Union Minister Manish Tewari and ex-MLA Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who is Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife, is hurting the party's image in the public eye, according to the party insiders. Another Congress leader eyeing the Chandigarh Congress ticket is Savita Sisodia.
"This has all been done at the behest of Pawan Bansal. The party high command should take note of how any party worker can be denied entry into the office," said Ms Sharma, stressing that she wants a "Pawan-mukt Chandigarh".
Denying Ms Sharma's allegations, Mr Chhabra said he does not want the office to turn into a venue for political campaigning. "Poonam jee did not tell me she has invited Navjot Kaur Sidhu, and now she is leveling baseless allegations," he told NDTV.
Mr Bansal could not be reached for comments.
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