INTERVIEW | ‘If I am outsider in Ludhiana, then PM & Smriti are as well’

I do not have the numbers, but I am sure of winning the maximum seats and getting the largest vote share.
Amarinder Singh Raja Warring
Amarinder Singh Raja Warring

Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, a party candidate from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat, dismisses claims of a Modi wave in the state. In conversation with Harpreet Bajwa, he refutes the “outsider” label, arguing that if he is an outsider to Ludhiana, so are PM Modi and Smriti Irani. Excerpts:

In a four-cornered contest involving Congress, BJP, AAP and SAD, how do you rate Congress’s chances?

The people have seen the BJP-led Central government and AAP ruling the state. Also, with anti-incumbency setting in against BJP and AAP, the people see Congress as an alternative. As far as Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is concerned, it is out of the game.

How many seats would the Congress win?

I do not have the numbers, but I am sure of winning the maximum seats and getting the largest vote share.

APP & Congress are part of the INDIA bloc but are contesting against each other in Punjab...

Right from day one, we knew that an alliance with AAP in Punjab was impossible. The AAP government has arrested and poached several of our leaders and tried to finish us (Congress).

On what issues is the Congress fighting polls in Punjab?

Drugs, unemployment, deteriorating law and order situation, and misuse of funds from the state government are the major issues our party is focusing on.

As Ludhiana is a Congress bastion. Will you be able to continue the winning streak?

There is not even an iota of doubt on that.

How do you rate the performance of AAP since it formed the government in Punjab.

On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the highest, I will rate AAP as a minus. They have failed in every field.

Your opponents tag you as an ‘outsider’…

If I am an outsider to Ludhiana, so is PM Modi as he belongs to Gujarat but fights from Varanasi. For that matter even Smriti Irani is an outsider, and so is Bittu. Capt Amarinder Singh and Arun Jaitely too figure in that list.

Brothers and former MLAs Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Bains joined the Congress and merged their Lok Insaaf Party (LIP). Will their joining help the party?

The joining of the Bains brothers will certainly help the party. There is no more resentment regarding their inclusion, and everything stands sorted.

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