Not interested in fighting from Amritsar: Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh, Mar 20: With speculations doing the round that Congress might field Amarinder Singh to take against BJP leader Arun Jaitley from Amritsar, the former chief minister on Thursday said a local candidate of the party would be able to do more justice to the constituency.

In a statement issued here, 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."

According to reports, Punjab Congress Chief Partap Singh Bajwa has told the party leadership that Amarinder could be a formidable candidate to take on SAD-BJP alliance nominee Arun Jaitley, who has replaced sitting BJP member Navjot Sidhu.

Amarinder said even if he contested and was elected as an MP from Amritsar he will not be able to do justice with 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 offered him to contest from Bathinda or Amritsar.

He said that he had clarified at that time itself that he will not be in a position to contest since his wife Perneet Kaur was contesting from Patiala.

"Moreover, he added, his presence was required across the state and contesting from Amritsar would simply confine him to one single constituency," he said adding he had already a long list of requests from the sitting and prospective candidates from all the parliamentary constituencies across the state seeking time for campaigning.

The former Chief Minister maintained that the Congress had strong, powerful and quite influential leaders in Amritsar who can successfully take on the Akali-BJP candidate there.

"Amritsar is a strong Congress bastion and the party has won the seat several times and during the last time the seat was declared in favour of the BJP candidate by fraud and deceit," he added.

Arguing that the party must field a local candidate who is well versed with the local issues and problems, Amarinder said, the people of Amritsar are already fatigued and frustrated because of an absentee MP (Navjot Sidhu) and they will not like to replace one absentee MP with the other.

"While the previous one was still visible once in a while, the present one (Arun Jaitley) if elected, will never ever be seen around given his interests and commitments in Delhi," he pointed out.


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