IN A blow to Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, whose supporters from BJP and SAD, followed him into the Congress fold and are seeking tickets to contest the upcoming municipal corporation elections, the Congress Monday decided to give preference to “dyed-in-wool Congressmen” over new entrants.n a meeting held in Delhi between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and PPCC chief TAICC gene Iral secretary and Punjab in-charge Asha Kumari and AICC secretary Harish Chaudhary it was decided that “loyalty should be rewarded to boost party morale and preference should be given to original Congress members over those who have joined from other parties.”
Of three municipal corporations going to polls on December 17, there was unrest in Congress camp in Amritsar, where some supporters of Sidhu, who joined the Congress after quitting SAD and BJP, were seeking tickets in 11 of 18 wards. This had led to silent protests against Sidhu and the matter had reached Chief Minister Amarinder Singh as well as Jakhar. The matter had been discussed internally earlier also.
Two SAD councillors, Simarpreet Kaur and Damandeep Uppal, had joined Congress along with Sidhu apart from 11 members of BJP, who are also seeking tickets from various wards. Sidhu’s personal assistant Girish Sharma’s wife is also a ticket aspirant while the Congress has a dyed-in-wool leader in Kulbhushan Duggal. Similarly, Avtar Singh, a former SAD leader and senior deputy mayor of Amritsar too is seeking ticket from ward number 46.
He joined the Congress ahead of elections along with Sidhu. Senior party leaders have been feeling that all these people enjoyed power during the past 10 years, when Congressmen were facing cases. Another Congress MLA, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, who defected from SAD, is also backing Varinder Sehdev and Dalbir Singh Mammanke, both former SAD leaders.
He is learnt to be backing 10 ticket aspirants, who joined Congress with him, in at least 10 wards out of 16 falling in his segment. The Congress also decided to stick to its one-family-one-ticket rule for municipal elections in the state and deal with rebels and deserters strongly. Patiala: First list announced The party on Monday announced first list of 31 candidates for the Patiala civic polls. The last date for filing of nominations is December 6.