By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 25 Apr: Veteran Congress leader and former Leader of the Opposition, Pritam Singh today rubbished speculation that he is joining BJP or ditching the Congress. Singh was addressing a press conference jointly with the new Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Chief, Karan Mahra, at Congress Bhawan here today.
During the press conference, Singh also expressed anguish that some news channels and YouTube Channels are running such baseless news stories without any confirmation. He further stated that a notice of defamation had been served on three news portals. He said that in case any news portals or the media had received any news that he is joining the BJP, the least they could have done was to verify from him if it was true or not. He said that three news portals had gone to the extent of claiming that he had already resigned from the membership of the assembly and the party. He added that he is still unable to comprehend who is behind spreading such fake news.
In response to a question, Singh expressed apprehension that there could be a deliberate conspiracy behind spreading such rumours. He emphasised that he had been elected as Congress MLA continuously from Chakrata and there was no question of his changing the party at present. He claimed that some political persons also could be behind the conspiracy to defame him.
However, he again expressed anguish over some senior Congress leaders, including some from the central leadership, stating that factionalism was responsible behind the Congress defeat in Uttarakhand. He demanded a high level inquiry by the national leadership into these claims and, if found true, then action taken against those responsible for such factionalism. He added that, if allegations of factionalism against him were proven, he would resign as MLA. He did not name anyone from the national leadership, but it was clear he was referring to National Secretary, Organisation, KC Venugopal and Leader in charge of the party affairs in Uttarakhand, Devendra Yadav, who had in their report to the Party High Command blamed factionalism and sabotage for the party’s defeat in the Uttarakhand Assembly Elections.
PCC Chief Karan Mahra also supported the claims made by Pritam Singh and agreed that a high level inquiry be held on the allegations of factionalism as the major reason behind the party’s defeat. He said that Singh is a very senior party leader and it was wrong on the part of a section of the media and some party leaders to claim he is switching over to BJP. He, however, clarified that he was not questioning the intentions of the Party High Command or raising questions on the allegations levelled by the national leadership. He added that in case there was some misunderstanding, efforts needed to be made to resolve the misunderstanding through discussion.
By Arun Pratap Singh