HomeIndiaChawla resigns as city Congress chief, says will continue to be with...

Chawla resigns as city Congress chief, says will continue to be with party

In yet another jolt to the Congress, its Chandigarh unit president Subhash Chawla resigned from the post on Saturday. Chawla was given the charge just a year and a half ago after removing the then president Pardeep Chhabra, who later joined the Aam Aadmi Party.

Chawla, who is said to be a close aide of former Union minister Pawan Bansal, confirmed the resignation. On his reason to resign from the post, Chawla told The Indian Express, “I will be doing a press conference in a day or two to say everything. I just want to rest now. I have been in a lot of stress all these days and you know that I am a heart patient too.”

Chawla, however, said he hasn’t quit the party. “But I have not left the party. I am still with the Congress and will remain with the Congress. I have been a Congress man throughout,” he added.

Chawla’s resignation comes just two days after Congress councillor and old warhorse Gurcharan Jeet Singh left the Congress and joined the city unit of Bharatiya Janata Party, leaving the Congress stunned. Sources said that many were holding Chawla responsible for the switch. Also, many workers in the group were stating that the high command was upset with him and sought his resignation.

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This was not just the only switch in the party. Even Devinder Singh Babla and his wife Harpreet Kaur Babla had switched to the BJP a month after Harpreet ‘s winning the elections of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.
The duo had joined the BJP just few days before the mayoral polls.

Their son Paramveer Babla too joined the BJP just a few days ago.

The Congress put up a poor show in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation elections, winning just eight seats out of 35. The polls were fought under the leadership of Chawla. Many blamed faulty ticket distribution for the poor performance.

Chawla was under pressure to perform as Lok Sabha elections are not far away and there was pressure to infuse young blood into the party. He had been with the Congress party since 1980.

Blamed for poor show

Many hold Chawla responsible for the departure of party councillors. Sources said that Chawla couldn’t unite and hold all of them together. He was held responsible for the party’s downfall in the past few months. The party was not giving a tough opposition in the general house of the Municipal Corporation.

On good terms with Bansal

Chawla was on good terms with former Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Whatever he would do was all in consultation with Bansal.

Even the ticket distribution before the Municipal Corporation polls was done in consultation with Bansal.
Bansal had been the only one contending for the Congress ticket in the Lok Sabha elections in Chandigarh. After the previous defeat, he had expressed not much interest in contesting again.

Former Union minister and present MP from Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari has been expressing interest in Chandigarh.
Though he has been saying that he is just “paying back” to his city where he grew up, many in political circles have been stating that Tewari has been trying his hands on the seat.

Chhabra blamed party leadership

A year and a half ago when Pardeep Chhabra had resigned, he had blamed the party leadership for the same. He had then joined the Aam Aadmi Oarty.

A year prior to Chhabra’s resignation, another Congress leader Chander Mukhi Sharma had resigned and joined the AAP.
Chhabra had joined the AAP after fighting with the Congress when he was upset with the organisation of the committees. He had not been going along well with Chawla too.

Chhabra had said while quitting the party that his services were not being valued.

Chhabra was upset ever since he was changed and Chawla was made the president. Chhabra who was the loyalist of Bansal was quite blunt in the resignation letter and blamed the leaders.

Next in line

After Chawla, it is former councillor and leader Harmohinder Singh Lucky who is a key front- runner for the post of city Congress president.

Bhupinder Singh Badheri and other leaders are trying too. Lucky had contested the Municipal Corporation polls this time and lost by 11 votes.

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