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Congress summons Amarinder, Bhattal to capital following infighting

Delhi,Politics, Mon, 02 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Amid a continuing spat between Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh and his detractors following the party's debacle in the assembly polls, the Congress central leadership has summoned the warring leaders to Delhi April 4 for seeking an explanation.


Congress leader Gulchain Singh Charak, who is party incharge of Punjab, said here that he had called former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, party MP Partap Singh Bajwa, party MLA R.S. Nabha and former MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira to the party office April 4. Amarinder Singh has also been called.


"I have called them on April 4 to ask why they had to give these statements," Charak said.


Charak added that the party would take action against those partymen who had internally sabotaged prospects of party candidates.


"I am receiving reports from candidates and these will be probed," Charak said.


The infighting in the state Congress has come out in the open over the past few days with leaders opposed to Amarinder Singh including Bhattal blaming him for the party's defeat and the PCC chief hitting back. Leaders opposed to Amarinder Singh have been demanding his removal as PCC chief.


Bhattal has said that Amarinder Singh was "the sole reason for the party's poll debacle". She has acccused the PCC chief of working against party leaders at the behest of his coterie so that ministerial berths could be given to his loyalists. She has also asked him to come clear on the funds received during electioneering.


Bhattal said the party won nine of 13 seats at her behest but could win only two of 34 seats given on recommendation of the PCC chief.


Amarinder Singh, also a former chief minister, claimed in a newspaper interview Sunday that some of the leaders who had accused him of being inaccessible had been lobbying for ministerial berths for themselves and their kin before announcement of results of the polls.


He named Bajwa and Khaira as among those who had lobbied for cabinet berths. He said Bhattal had been given 10 seats but could secure party's victory on only two seats.


Bajwa and Khaira have denied Capt Amarinder Singh's allegations.


Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance came back to power in Punjab in results declared last month. Congress won 46 seats in the 117-member assembly.


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