Chandigarh: Factional feud in Congress in
Punjab in the wake of party`s debacle in assembly poll came to
the fore Wednesday as some senior leaders walked out of a meeting
presided over by PCC President Amarinder Singh.
Seventy one candidates who lost the state assembly
elections held recently in Punjab had been called to the
meeting held here to discuss the party`s poll defeat.
Former MLA Sukhpal Khaira, who has been vocal in recent
times demanding a change in party leadership in Punjab, along
with other state leaders of the party, Ripjit Brar, Mangat Rai
Bansal, Surinderpal Sibia and Raman Bhalla walked out from the
Party sources said Khaira and others felt the party should
hold a serious introspection over the poll defeat instead of
holding "tea parties" or social get-togethers.
The sources said some leaders felt convening the meeting
was a move by the Amarinder camp to garner support at a time
when his critics have been gunning for him after Congress`
defeat in the January 30 polls in which it managed to win just
46 of the 117 assembly seats.
They said Khaira had asked Amarinder in today`s meeting
to step down from the PCC chief`s post as the party had faced
two successive defeats in Punjab (2007 and 2012) under his
Amarinder Singh later told reporters that the leaders
had been called for the meeting over tea to have a free
discussion over recent poll results.
On his detractors walking out from the meeting, Amarinder
sought to play down the issue.
He also said "whether PCC President stays or goes is not
the decision which will be taken in Punjab. I have already
said I will continue as long as my party chief wants me to do