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Amrinder Singh gets second term

By Our Staff Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, NOV. 25. After a prolonged period of suspense, accompanied by major lobbying, the election of the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), proved to be a quiet affair with the scion of the royal family of the erstwhile princely state of Patiala, Capt. Amrinder Singh, being elected unopposed for another term.

A member of the party's election authority, Mr. Chakarvarti Sharma, declared the results at the PCC headquarters, which wore a festive look this afternoon. In the 44 sets of nominations filed today, 83 delegates proposed and another 82 seconded Capt. Amrinder Singh.

The proposers included all former PCC presidents. Over 180 out of the 219 delegates were present.

Contrary to their Press statements, none of the aspirants, for the post, filed their nominations. Mr. Sharma said the elections for the other office-bearers and the executive committee would be held ``soon'' after getting suitable directions from the party's Central Election Authority.

Later talking to Presspersons, an emotional Capt. Amrinder Singh said the affection shown by the leaders and workers of the party had moved him. He described his election a ``very special and unique moment'' for him. However, he denied that the party chief, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, had issued directions to ensure that the elections were held without contest.

Refusing to accept that there was any dissidence in the State unit, Capt. Amrinder Singh said in a democratic process, when different people field themselves as contestants, many statements are made. He said the entire PCC was united and the leaders fully understood their responsibility.

When pointed out that some of the ``dissident'' leaders were not present today, Capt. Singh claimed that former Chief Minister, Mrs. Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, could not be present as she was member of the central election authority. He said he had been invited by her for tea after the election.

His immediate challenge Capt. Amrinder Singh said was to take up the task of mobilising the party rank and file in preparation for the Assembly elections, which could be held any time now. He said the ruling coalition may in try to pre-pone the polls to ensure that they are held before the forthcoming Union budget.

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