Pb Cong tries to mollify disgruntled legislators

A day after a couple of party legislators expressed discontent over being ignored in Punjab cabinet expansion, the state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said the party has many worthy leaders who might have been aspirants and maintained that issues will be resolved soon.

The Punjab Congress today tried to mollify discontent among a section of its leaders who are upset over non-inclusion in the state cabinet, which was expanded yesterday with the induction of nine new ministers.

Jakhar and party in-charge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari and co-incharge Harish Choudhary in Chandigarh held a meeting with several legislators here.

Amritsar (west) MLA Raj Kumar Verka told media persons after the meeting that an entire chunk of Dalit community, which comprises nearly 35 lakh of Punjab's population, has been left out in the cabinet expansion.

"We have raised this issue at the party forum and the leadership will redress it," Verka, a prominent Dalit face of the party who was also a frontrunner for cabinet berth, said.

Jakhar told reporters that the party has many worthy leaders who might have been aspiring for a place in the cabinet. He said the issues would be resolved.

Replying to a question, he said that it was an internal matter of the party and was being addressed.

While three party MLAs claimed to have resigned in protest after the list of new ministers was announced on Friday, Asha Kumari, today, however, said that no resignation has been received by the party.

Three legislators -- Sangat Singh Gilzian from Urmur assembly segment, Nathu Ram from Balluana and Surjit Singh Dhiman from Amargarh -- had resigned from their posts in the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.

Gilzian resigned on Friday when the names of the nine new ministers were announced after a meeting between Amarinder Singh and Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.

The two other resignations came in yesterday, just a few hours before the swearing-in ceremony.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too had lashed at the Congress after the expansion, accusing it of ignoring the representation of Scheduled Caste and backward classes among the newly sworn in ministers.


(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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