Father vs son; brother vs brother as Congress ticket battle intensified in Majha


Tussle with top leadership, infighting and a demoralized party cadre saw Congress bite the dust in Majha region in the civic polls held last year. Virtually devastated, the party could only manage to bag only 26 seats out of the total 277 in four districts. The trend has been carried on till the crucial assembly polls with family feud in the Majha region adding fuel to fire.

Former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Partap Singh Bajwa might have exited from the political circuits of Majha region but the infighting among Congress leaders has not die down. In fact with every passing day, the rift is getting widened.

Family feud has added to all the existing trouble brewing in the Congress party. There have been at least three major instances in Majha region where family feud is leading the grand old party of the country to a virtual devastation.

In the crucial Majha region father vs. son, brother vs. brother – all that is happening the battle of ticket seeker intensified. In the Dera Baba Nanak constituency, the rift is wide open with the Randhwa family washing their dirty linen in the public.

Cracks have appeared in former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president and ex-minister late Santokh Singh Randhawa’s legacy. His two sons won’t be on the same side in the coming elections. Santokh’s elder son Inderjit Singh Randhawa is opposing the candidature of his younger brother, sitting Congress MLA, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.

Where as in Batala, Congress stalwart and sitting MLA, Ashwani Sekhri received a jolt when his younger brother Inder Sekhri publicly asked the party high command to change his brother’s candidature from the Batala. He went on to threaten party command of contesting as independent if his demand is not met.

Typically, in political culture fathers always their legacy to be carried forward by their sons but that is not the case at Khem Karan assembly constituency where it was a triangular contest in the Bhullar family. Apparently, Congress veteran Gurchet Singh Bhullar wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi urging them to give ticket to him, and not to either of his sons, Sukhpal and Anoop. But declining his request, the party high command gave ticket to Sukhpal Singh Bhullar instead.

The slugfest is not just limited to a particular family but it demoralizes the entire party cadre. In midst of all the chaos, status quo is maintained with state party leadership choosing to keep a stoic silence. Congressmen with vested interests perhaps want status quo to be maintained.

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