Congress sets up coordination panel in Punjab

New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) Concerned over infighting in the Punjab unit of the party, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi Friday announced a panel to coordinate party work in the state.

"Congress president Sonia Gandhi has approved the coordination committee for the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee," said party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi in a release here.

Shakeel Ahmad, general secretary in charge of party affairs in Punjab, would head the coordination panel while state unit chief Partap Singh Bajwa would be its convenor.

Other members of the coordination panel would be Congress legislature party leader Sunil Jakhar, AICC secretary in charge Harish Chaudhary, former state unit chief Mohinder Singh Kaypee and senior leader Lal Singh.

The Congress lost the 2012 assembly polls to the ruling Akali Dal for a second consecutive term under former chief minister Amarinder Singh, who was then state unit chief.

Bajwa replaced Amarinder Singh after the Congress lost the crucial Moga bypoll in May this year.

A game of upmanship between Amarinder Singh and Bajwa has been going on for the last few months.

The warring leaders shared a platform Thursday at a public rally addressed by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi near Sangrur.

Amarinder Singh, Bajwa, Jakhar, former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former MP Jagmeet Singh Brar and others were present at the rally.

The event, at this town, 130 km from Chandigarh, was preceded by some controversy as Amarinder Singh, reportedly unhappy at not being included among the dignitaries sharing the dias with Gandhi, tried to excuse himself from the function, saying that he had a court case to attend.


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