Congress panel to look into Punjab unit trouble

The Congress central leadership Tuesday stepped in to resolve the crisis in its Punjab unit that erupted after the re-constitution of the Pradesh Congress Committee and led to a spate of resignations. The AICC set up a four-member committee to look into the grievances and address the issues to quell the rebellion.

The committee, headed by special invitee to the CWC Mohinder Singh Kapyee, and comprising leaders Lal Singh, Punjab Mahila Congress chief Malti Thapar and AICC secretary K L Sharma, has been asked to submit its report within a month, said AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab Shakeel Ahmed.

Ahmed admitted "some voices of concern and dissent" were raised by different leaders soon after the announcement of the new office-bearers and members of the executive committee. He said the committee will look into the issues and address their grievances. He said the committee will "in consultation with the senior Punjab leaders suggest ways to address the issues".

The party high command also made it clear that a committee will be announced Wednesday to look into the issues of discipline within the state unit. Ahmed has received lot of complaints regarding the new of list office-bearers. Sources said general secretary and senior leader from Punjab Ambika Soni too had a meeting with him and the issue is said to have come up for discussion.

The jumbo list of 300 names, including 14 vice-presidents, 35 general secretaries, 61 secretaries and 27 district chiefs besides 148 executive members, announced by state unit president Partap Singh Bajwa had brought to the fore the tension between camps loyal to him and his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh and that of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

At least two dozen leaders who were named executive members have sent in their resignations so far and these include several former ministers like Chaudhary Jagjit, Malkiat Birmi and Rakesh Pandey. The Congress has indicated its willingness to have a re-look at the list after allegations of favouritism spilled into the public domain.

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