Resolve state leadership issue, Jakhar tells Rahul

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member

Amid hectic activity around the imminent reshuffle in the Punjab unit, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader from the state Sunil Jakhar today raised the issue of leadership crisis in the state at a meeting of CLP leaders chaired by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi here.
Known to speak his mind, Jakhar, a loyalist of former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, urged Rahul Gandhi to “resolve the ongoing leadership tussle at the earliest in the interest of the party”. Top sources privy to the meeting told The Tribune that Rahul heard Jakhar patiently and even smiled at him. Later in his concluding remarks, Rahul said the Congress leadership would ensure that discomfort of centrally appointed leaders was addressed.
Sources said when Jakhar’s turn to speak (in the meeting attended by 20 CLP leaders of non-Congress ruled states) came, he began by mentioning that everyone was aware of the problems being faced by the Punjab Congress unit. Jakhar’s reference was to the long-standing demand of Capt Amarinder and a majority of state MLAs to replace the incumbent Punjab Pradesh Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa.
Leaders aware of the meeting said Jakhar pressed upon Rahul for an early resolution of the crisis and said the high command should take a decision and he as the CLP leader would abide by it. Capt Amarinder has been backing Jakhar for the post of PCC chief even as the Congress is weighing its options.
“My position as the leader of CLP in Punjab is known. Everyone is aware of Punjab unit problems. So I have no hesitation in saying that we need to resolve the issue at the earliest as we approach the 2017 Assembly elections. We need to take a decision,” Jakhar is learnt to have said in the meeting, with Rahul allowing him the time to raise the issue and later in conclusion saying he was happy to have heard “important state-related matters which he would work to address”. Rahul asked all CLP leaders to coordinate with their state PCC chiefs for better performance of the Congress as the opposition party. The issue of state Congress leadership and state unit reshuffle unit is under active consideration of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi who is learnt to be in favour of its early resolution.
Pro-Bajwa slogans raised
Supporters of Partap Bajwa today raised “Bajwa zindabad” slogans outside the room of Congress general secretary in charge of Punjab Shakeel Ahmad in the AICC headquarters today.