Tewari back, but many Cong leaders donít show up

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During his visit to Ludhiana after becoming a Union Minister, Manish Tewari had to face criticism from his own party on Sunday. While two out of the three elected Congress MLAs ó Surinder Dawar and Bharat Bhushan Ashu ó stayed away from the function held to facilitate the local MP, he was described as "mere a weekend leader" by one of his own partymen.

Former DCC (urban) presidents ó K K Bawa, Harmohinder Singh Pradhan and Gurdev Singh Lapran ó and many elected Congress councillors also stayed away from the function, which was organised by the District Congress Committee (DCC).

In his speech, Tewari said it was time to stay united and walk together. "Congress is united. Few issues or ego clashes need to be sorted out after having meetings. We are one big family," he added.

However, explaining his absence from the function, MLA Ashu said, "There are a few unsettled issues and till the time they are sorted out, it is better to stay away from such functions rather than to feel humiliated. We are happy that the Ludhiana MP has got a Union minister rank, but we also want that the newly appointed minister should take all along while walking."

MLA Dawar, however, said he was out of station and, therefore, could not attend the function.

Bawa said, "We had worked hard for his victory in Ludhiana, but he could not take everyone along. He has become mere a weekend leader and is opposing many just at the behest of one of his favourites (read DCC president Pawan Dewan)."

The Congress councillors who stayed away from the function included Balkar Singh, Gurpreet Gogi, Deepika Bhalla, Maharaj Singh Raji and Narinder Kala. Many others who had lost MC election also skipped the function.

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