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Bhattal told to make peace with Amarinder
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | January 05, 2004 20:56 IST
A four-member Congress panel led by Pranab Mukherjee on Monday met the Punjab dissidents spearheaded by former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.
"The four-member panel has met them [the Punjab dissidents] and we are more than hopeful that an amicable solution will emerge," party spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters.
Congress sources later told rediff.com that the ' peace formula' involves diluting the charges against Bhattal in a corruption case against her.
And Punjab is not the only state where factionalism is eating into the party's vitals. Similar problems exist in Kerala, where Chief Minister A K Antony is facing a challenge from veteran leader K Karunakaran, and Gujarat, where Amarsinh Choudhary has raised the banner of revolt against the Pradesh Congress Committee chief Shankarsinh Vaghela.
Bhattal, meanwhile, has gone on record saying she would go by the high command's diktat.
The dissidents in Kerala and Gujarat have also been told to exercise restraint as the party prepares to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in the general elections.
Sharma said the party's highest decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee, will meet on January 7 to formulate the strategy for the Lok Sabha polls.
He, however, refused to say whether matters like the party's revamp following its defeat in assembly polls would also be taken up.
More reports from Punjab
Read about: Striking a Discordant Note