Manmohan Singh unwilling to contest from Amritsar despite 'fervent requests' by Congress
New Delhi, Mar 11: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is believed to be unwilling to contest from Punjab in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, despite "fervent requests" from the Congress, reports said on Sunday.
Senior Congress leaders including Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, state in-charge Asha Kumari and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sunil Jakhar have made a 'fervent request' to Singh, urging him to contest the General election from the city of Golden Temple.
Capt Amarinder is learnt to have told Dr Singh, "All you have to do is file your nomination papers. I take full responsibility for your campaign and will run it personally. I will camp in Amritsar. Please don't say no. Please think it over."
This constituency was offered to Singh even during the 2009 national election but he declined the request citing ill health.
It may be reaclled that in 2014 elections, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley was defeated by Congress's candidate Captain Amarinder Singh in Punjab.Congress' Gurjit Aujla again won the seat in a byelection when Capt Amarinder vacated it to head the state government.
Meanwhile, Amarinder Singh has exuded confidence that the Congress will win all 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, after he discussed the party's probable candidates on the seats at a meeting of its screening committee on Sunday.
The Punjab Congress is fully geared to fight the Lok Sabha election, Amarinder Singh said, making it apparent that the party will not ally with anyone in the state.
The chief minister said the Punjab government would take all steps to ensure free and fair polls, in a secure environment. The police and civil administration would work in tandem to enable peaceful election in the state, he added.
All 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will go to polls on May 19 and the results will be out on May 23.