Oct 17, 2008

India - Is PM eyeing Amritsar Lok Sabha Seat ?

Ajay Bhardwaj

As speculation grows, sitting MP Sidhu gets jitters

CHANDIGARH: Will prime minister Manmohan Singh contest the coming Lok Sabha election from Amritsar against sitting BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu?

The unanimity among state Congress leaders, including MLAs and former ministers, over his candidature has certainly fuelled speculation.

The prime minister has relatives in Amritsar where he also spent some time when his family migrated from Pakistan after Partition.

A resolution adopted by Amritsar District Congress Committee (Urban and Rural) was submitted to Charan Singh Sapra, the visiting MLC from Mumbai who has been appointed observer by AICC president Sonia Gandhi to assess the mood of party leaders and voters in the constituency.

Sapra held separate meetings with senior leaders in the District Congress Committee. Later, he also met Bihar governor RL Bhatia, who has represented Amritsar five times in the past.

Party leaders told the AICC observer that post delimitation the parliamentary constituency had become Sikh-dominated and Manmohan Singh would have a cake walk if he chose to contest the seat.

They said Manmohan had a distinct advantage in Amritsar as it was his hometown and a number of his relatives and friends lived there.

Apparently rattled by the speculation, Sidhu has challenged the prime minister to try his luck in Amritsar. “Let the prime minister fulfil the expectations of his party men by contesting from Amritsar, so that the over 10 lakh voters could at least get the chance to ask him what his contribution to the holy city has been,” the former cricketer said.

No comments: