Home Dehradun Congress Observer PL Punia reaches Doon in attempt to quell dissidence

Congress Observer PL Punia reaches Doon in attempt to quell dissidence

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By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 15 Apr:  In charge of Congress Affairs in Uttarakhand Devendra Yadav, and central observer former MP PL Punia reached Dehradun today in an attempt to quell rising infighting within the State Congress. The duo was welcomed at Jolly Grant Airport by senior leaders of the party and workers, including PCC Chief Karan Mahra, former Chief Minister Harish Rawat, Leader of the Opposition Yashpal Arya and former PCC Chief Pritam Singh. Punia and Yadav will stay in Dehradun till 17 April and try to calm down factionalism.
It may be recalled that in past one year ever since the Congress had badly lost the last assembly elections in Uttarakhand. In fact, even before that and many Congress leaders believed that BJP was in good position to retain power but Congress could have performed better had there been no infighting. However, after the elections, this infighting has only intensified. Karan Mahra, the new PCC Chief appointed after the assembly elections has been trying hard to boost the morale of the party workers and has led state wide protest against the BJP over many issues. But he has failed to rein in the local satraps in the party, which is deeply ridden with factionalism. There are several factions in the party, each led by some or the other senior party leaders like Harish Rawat, Pritam Singh and others. Some, senior leaders like the current Leader of the Opposition, Yashpal Arya have tried to project themselves as neutral, but others allege that this is due to the fact that leaders like Arya have returned to the party fold only recently and are trying to cement their position once again in the party.
Some satraps have become somewhat irrelevant due to electoral debacles. They include leaders like Harak Singh Rawat who returned to Congress last year just before the assembly elections and failed to get party ticket but managed to get ticket for his daughter in law Anukriti Gusain who lost her election. Shoorvir Singh Sajwan, Hira Singh Bist have become irrelevant due to continuous poll defeats. Sources in the party claim that each senior leader has his own agenda and is working to promote himself in the party instead of working in the party’s interest.
Sources further remind that leaders like Pritam Singh, MLA Madan Bist and MLA Tilak Raj Behad are angry with the leader in charge of the party affairs Devendra Yadav, and have accused him of promoting factionalism by ignoring one section of the leaders and listening to only one particular faction.
Punia has been appointed as Central observer by the party after recent statements made in public by many party seniors caused huge embarrassment to the party.
However, Punia has come along with Yadav and it remains to be seen how both these leaders can satisfy all the factions in the party. Punia and Yadav will stay in Dehradun till 17 April and will try to meet different factions during their  stay.
Among others who were present at the airport included Media Incharge Rajeev Maharshi, State Vice President Mathura Dutt Joshi, Himanshu Gaba, Rakit Walia, Vijay Saraswat, Lal Chand Sharma and IT District President Vikas Negi.