– Congress to launch ‘Save Punjab Campaign’ from Chabbewal, Majitha, Qadian, Ghanaur and Ludhiana Urban
Chandigarh: The Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, today initiated the giant step forward to gear up the party to confront the Akali Dal-BJP alliance with the announcement to launch Save Punjab campaign from November 14 to eradicate the menace of drugs. Referring to the anger of tsunami among people sweeping across length and breadth of the state, he expressed the optimism that none could defeat a united Congress in the next Assembly elections due in 2017.
Gandhi’s plans to rev up the party in the border state got going with his interactions at three levels that included block and district presidents, MPs, MLAs, members of the Pradesh Congress Committee and other senior leaders. His first meeting was with the BCC and DCC presidents followed by the PPCC and his day’s programme concluded with a meeting with the PPCC Kisan Wing and a delegation of the Bharatiya Kisan Union led by Mr Bhupinder Singh Mann.
The main leaders present included the party’s National General Secretary Mrs Ambika Soni, party Secretary Mr Harish Chaudhary, the PPCC chief Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, the Deputy Leader of the party in the Lok Sabha Capt. Amarinder Singh, former chief minister Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former PPCC presidents including Mr H S Hanspal, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee and Mr Virender Kataria and Ch Santokh Singh, MP.
Apart from a resolution adopted for moving the Supreme Court to seek CBI probe into the smuggling of drugs, Mr Gandhi, while elaborating the Save Punjab campaign, said the party volunteers would be trained to educate the people against the menace of drugs who would go door to door to cover the entire state within two years beginning November 14.
In the first phase, this campaign would be launched in five Assembly constituencies including Majitha, Qadian, Ghanaur, Chabewal and Ludhiana Urban. The party decided to give top priority to the eradication of this menace which is eating into the vitals of once this most progressive state but had now come into the category of laggards due to mismanagement, non-governance and open loot by the SAD government.
He also warned the factions of Partap Singh Bajwa and Captain Amrinder Singh to face SAD-BJP unitedly in order to escape from another defeat in Punjab.
His emphasis was on strengthening the party at the lowest levels and said even the senior most leaders should work at the grassroots and attend the meetings of the BCCs and DCCs. He made it clear that the criteria for the allotment of tickets would be party work. He said the BCC presidents had the most vital role to play to gear up the party.
Yet another important decision taken at the meeting of the presidents of the DCCs and BCCs was to set up booth level committees. Mr Gandhi called upon the party to complete this exercise of setting 11-member committee for each of the about 19,000 booths and the exercise would be completed in about a month. This would involve mobilising more than 2 lakh party activists at the grassroots.
He repeatedly stressed the point that the people in Punjab were fed up and they had made up their mind to bring about the change. The party would be invincible provided the Akali Dal-BJP alliance was confronted unitedly. He stressed this crucial aspect in both the meetings.
At the meeting with the farmers’ delegations which lasted about 30 minutes, he apprised himself about the problems being faced by the peasantry about which he was briefed by Mr Mann and the leaders from the kisan wing.