Dissidence has once again has become the buzz word in Punjab Congress ahead of 2017 elections to State Assembly. An instance to this was provided last week when Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh expelled party leader Bhupinder Singh Bittu from the party for six years for defying the party’s decision to boycott Khadoor Sahib Assembly by-election.
Significantly, Bittu is contesting the by-elections scheduled for February 13 as an independent candidate. This seat had fallen vacant after Congress MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki resigned protesting sacrilege incidents that his constituency witnessed in 2015.
Boycott only for namesake
Punjab Congress had announced it would boycott the Khadoor Sahib by-elections, with Capt Amarinder Singh saying: “Since the basic issue of the sacrilege of the holy Guru Granth Sahib, for which Sikki resigned, still remains unresolved, the Congress party decided there was no point in contesting the election”.
Amarinder eats his own words
Congress Party as well its President , Capt Amarinder had to eart their words when Bhupinder Singh Bittu went ahead and challenged the party. He made it known that he would contest the election come what may. Bittu is in fray now as an independent candidate much to the discomfiture of former Chief Minister and PCC President, Capt Amarinder Singh.
Party torn by infighting
With this Punjab Congress seems to be in total mess. The party is torn by infighting and witch-hunt leading to sinking morale of party workers. The state leadership does not appear to have learnt any lesson from successive defeats in Punjab and now the voice of dissent is becoming shriller. Some party leaders allege humiliation from senior leaders which is the root cause of dissidence in the party rank and file.
In civic body elections to Congress candidates had refused to contest on party symbol and preferred to contest as independents. This situation was witnessed in Moga and Kotkapura. Similarly in Zirakpur, Guru Har Sahai and Rampura Phul, the Congress candidates refused to file nomination papers. Ditto for Rampura Phul, Phagwara and Qadian, the home turf of former President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee where Congress gave a cakewalk. Khanna, Jalalabad and Pathankot offered similar scenario.
Bereft of dialogue with people
In view of this a bleak scenario awaits Punjab Congress in 2017 elections. The ego of its state leadership not only inhibits its leaders from a one to one session with each other but has meant that there is no dialogue with people of Punjab. Just criticising opponents may be good politics to score points but it can’t win elections that too in a state like Punjab where people vote for performance, consistency and promises to uplift the state from the downhill journey that it witnessed during Congress regime. The message is loud and clear-either perform or perish, unite or disperse because the saying goes that united we stand, divided we fall. Congress in Punjab is a divided house with dissidence looming large ahead of crucial 2017 elections. In such a scenario, political pundits give Congress no chance in the forthcoming elections to state Assembly.