It’s clear the Congress has yet to learn its lesson. While its top Leadership is still trying to sort out the Ashok Gehlot versus Sachin Pilot battle in Rajasthan, a similar battle between two Congress leaders is out in the open in Punjab. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Singh Bajwa are at war.
The problem began with the deaths related to the consumption of hooch last week and the issue was raised by Bajwa in a letter to Singh. But when asked at a press conference, Singh was dismissive and said he never took cognisance of what Bajwa wrote.
The rivalry between the two dates way back to when Bajwa was the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief and Singh insisted that he be removed. Bajwa was replaced by Singh's choice in 2016 and was given a Rajya Sabha seat as compensation. Things have since remained uneasy and as in the case of Rajasthan, here too no attempt was made to sort out the fights or tension between the two leaders.
In the latest move that has made things worse, the Punjab government on Saturday withdrew security to Bajwa on the grounds that he has no security threat. Bajwa was given security by the state government back in 1980 when terrorism was at its peak. But now he has been deprived of this also on grounds that he has security provided by the central government. This security was provided by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) dispensation.
When it was recently removed by the central government, the leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, and it was. According to Bajwa, no special favours have been asked for from the Centre.
"I had spoken openly against the failure of the administration in Punjab and improper functioning of CM Amarinder Singh," said Bajwa on Saturday. :Obviously, in his usual manner, he had to resort to hitting below the belt by withdrawing my security and exposing my whole family to risk."
This latest confrontation has only highlighted again that with Delhi turning a blind eye to problems in states and letting things be, it only further weakens the party and erodes the power of the Gandhis. The Congress has already lost many leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Pradyut Deb Barman, and Pilot is on the brink of quitting as well. The wake-up call has not been heard way too often.