Intense lobbying in Punjab Congress over new PCC chief; Bittu, MP from Ludhiana

The Congress High Command is expected to issue a call this week for the new Punjab Provincial Congress Committee (PPCC) chief, with intense lobbying for the post and even fears of a major recruitment scandal engulfing the party cadre.

According to sources, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to meet the MPs today on the sidelines of an all-party meeting to “assess” the situation on the issue. According to reliable Congress sources, when the names of Ravneet Bittu, Sukhjinder Randhawa and Amarinder Raja Waring came up for discussion, former PCC chief Navjot Sidhu was trying to prepare himself and Sukhpal Khaira for the post.

The heated debate over the post has also raised fears of another round of controversy within the party. Adding fuel to the already raging fire, Ludhiana MP Bittu’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 4 in New Delhi. Although Bittu called it a “courtesy call” to take up Punjab-related issues, the meeting caught on. The attention of his opponents.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Congress MP Ravneet Bittu on Monday. (PTI photo)

Bittu, the grandson of former chief minister Beant Singh, tweeted a photo of his meeting with the prime minister, with the caption: “Today the Prime Minister met Narendra Modi and discussed the problems of Punjab.”

“It simply came to our notice then. Why would a party MP go directly to the Prime Minister? Something is being made, “said one leader, adding that Bittu was clearly trying to keep his options open if he did not make it as PCC chief or get a party ticket for the Lok Sabha elections.

It comes at a time when the party is trying to finalize a candidate for the post of PCC chief. A senior leader of the party said a decision on the PCC chief was expected this week. Sidhu has been holding meetings with party leaders for the last few days. He also raised the issue of attacks on Congress workers.

On Monday, Sidhu visited the family of Mangat Ram, a party worker who was recently killed in Ludhiana. He was accompanied by party leaders Surinder Dawar and Rakesh Pandey. Joginder Bhoya, a former MLA of Bhoja, also met Sidhu.

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