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Rebellion in Punjab Congress over tickets

January 22, 2007 14:56 IST
Despite tall claims made by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh that there were no differences between Congress leaders in the state, reports from different parts of the state indicate that rebel candidates are posing major problems for the party.

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Shamsher Singh Dullo is spending sleepless nights trying to work out some kind of arrangement by which majority of the rebels could be asked to withdraw their candidature against the official Congress nominees for the Feburary 13 assembly elections.

Though Congress has managed to tame Jagmit Singh Brar, one of the staunchest critics of the policies and programmes of Amarinder, by asking him to file the nomination for the Amritsar by-elections, problems have come from unseen quarters.

Bir Davinder Singh, sitting legislator from Kharar who has been denied a ticket, has shot of a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. His supporters are optimistic that the central leadership will change its mind and ask Bir to be the party candidate.

"But if this does not happen then we would chart our own course of action and our leader would be forced to file his nomination as independent candidate," one of Bir's supporters claimed. Allegations of acceptance of money in ticket distribution are being made by those who have been denied party nominations. Bir is no exception to this rule.

Ironically, state PPCC chief's own relative Ravinder Singh, who is also the district youth Congress chief (Fatehgarh Sahib) has also raised banner of revolt against the party nominee from Sirhind where the party has given ticket to former legislator Dr Harbans Lal.

News about rebels raising their head in Samana, Hoshiarpur, Baranala and Sangrur are also pouring in consistently. Angry Harinder Pal Singh, popularly known as Harry Mann, has resigned from the party itself and has vowed to ensure the defeat of the Maharaja of Patiala at the hustings.

Captain Amarinder Singh, in a recent press conference in New Delhi, had denied any anti-incumbency factor that would lead to defeat of his party.

"There is no anti-incumbency. We are going to people on our developmental works. However, I cannot rule out anti-incumbency factor against some individual legislators. Majority of the sitting legislators have been given party tickets. We are 63 now and we hope to win 74 seats," he had said, while addressing media persons.
Onkar Singh in Chandigarh