Updated on: Wednesday, August 05, 2020, 05:49 AM IST

FPJ Edit: Hooch deaths bare fissures in Punjab Congress

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh  | ANI

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh | ANI


The hooch tragedy in Punjab which has already claimed over 100 lives, leaving many more blind and crippled, has yet again ignited the factional fight within the ruling Congress. Two Rajya Sabha members of the party, including Pratap Singh Bajwa, sought a CBI inquiry into the tragedy, alleging complicity of the State authorities. The two met the State Governor, B P Singh, to press for a CBI and ED inquiry into the hooch deaths. This incensed Sunil Jakhar, the State Congress chief, who demanded strict disciplinary action against the two senior leaders. He accused the two MPs of indulging in anti-party activities, arguing that unless the dissidents were penalised, Punjab might be headed the Rajasthan way where Sachin Pilot has rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Bajwa is keen to replace Captain Amarinder Singh as the State chief minister, and misses no opportunity to needle him. But the Captain is a leader in his own right, winning the election for his party rather than the latter winning it for him. Given that he has now indicated that he might lead the party in the Assembly poll due two years hence, dissidents seem to have become frustrated. No doubt the hooch tragedy is a grotesque failure of the administration at various levels, but for the ruling party MPs to demand a CBI-ED inquiry is a gross act of indiscipline. A failure to punish the two dissidents will widen the factional divide in the ruling party.

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Published on: Wednesday, August 05, 2020, 07:00 AM IST