Manish Tewari to Contest from Ludhiana

Party sources said that the final call to field Tewari was taken today in a meeting chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi.

Published: 20th March 2014 10:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2014 10:04 PM   |  A+A-


Congress has decided to re-nominate Union minister Manish Tewari from Ludhiana seat and his candidature will be announced soon.

Party sources said that the final call to field Tewari was taken today in a meeting chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi.

Tewari, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, was admitted to a private hospital's cardiology department here on March 15 after he complained of uneasiness.

He was discharged after two days on March 17.

There was report that Tewari was interested in contesting from Chandigarh, from where former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has been nominated by the party.

There was speculation that Tewari was not keen to contest from the seat and the party may not field him citing health reasons.

However, AICC general secretary in-charge for Chandigarh Shakeel Ahmed scotched the speculation asking when did Tewari say he did not want to contest.

Senior Congress leader O P Soni could be fielded from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat to take on senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley as former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh today made it clear that he was not interested in fighting from Amritsar.

Soni was defeated by BJP's Navjot Singh Sidhu in 2009 Lok Sabha polls by a narrow margin.

Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa, who is considered not to be on best of terms with Amarinder Singh, is learnt to have recommended to the party leadership that the former Punjab CM could be a formidable candidate to take on Jaitley.

In a statement, Amarinder, however, maintained that Congress has strong local leaders in Amritsar who can take on Jaitley.

Amarinder said besides being an outsider he does not know Amritsar as much as someone from that area. "I will also not be able to spend required period of time there."

Amarinder said even if he contested and was elected as an MP from Amritsar he will not be able to do justice for the people there as compared to a local.

"I would not be able to do justice with the people of Amritsar as their MP for multiple reasons, besides not being able to contest from there at the first instance," he said.

Amarinder said that about three weeks ago when he had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, she had made an offer to him that he should contest from Bathinda or Amritsar.

He said that he had told Gandhi that he will not be in a position to contest since his wife Perneet Kaur was contesting from Patiala.

Congress is also likely to field Sukhwinder Singh Danny from Faridkot seat.

Danny, son of a former Punjab Minister, was handpicked by Rahul Gandhi to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from the seat, had got more than 4 lakh votes then.

He had lost to Shiromani Akali Dal's Paramjit Kaur Gulshan by a margin of less than six thousand votes.

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