The announcement of Navjot Kaur Sidhu’s joining Congress next week seems to be worrying Congress veterans expecting ticket from Amritsar East, the Assembly constituency represented by her. Though there has been no word so far on whether Navjot will again contest from the same constituency this time round on a Congress ticket, claimants have suggested that the party field her against some powerful minister of the SAD-BJP alliance government.
Talking to The Indian Express, one of the strong Congress claimants to the ticket from Amritsar East, Jasbir Singh Dimpa, said, “Both Navjot Singh Sidhu and Navjot Kaur Sidhu are celebrities. They have massive appeal among the masses. Navjot Kaur Sidhu has herself raised her voice against the Badals and Majithias when she was in power. Her potential should be properly utilised and she should be fielded against the big names in the incumbent government like Sukhbir Singh Badal, Bikram Singh Majithia. She can also beat minister Anil Joshi. Amritsar East is no big deal for the party to win. I can single-handedly win this seat if party gives me the ticket.”
He added, “I have been working for a long time in this constituency and I can easily beat anyone the opposition fields from Amritsar East. Navjot Kaur Sidhu should not be wasted on this seat.”
Another claimant, Sunil Datti, former Amritsar mayor and Congress candidate from Amritsar East in 2012, said, “Navjot Kaur Sidhu is like our opening batsman and she should not be fielded against Bangladesh. Party should field her against South Africa or Australia. Amritsar East is not a difficult constituency to win for the party.”
He added, “Not only Navjot Kaur Sidhu, but all those party leaders who expect to become minister after party forms government in the state, should contest against the ministers of SAD-BJP government. Similarly, Navjot Kaur Sidhu should be fielded against some minister or some big name in opposition. It would boost the party’s campaign in the rest of the state.”
Another claimant, not wanting to be named, said, “It could backfire if the party ignores veterans for outsiders like Navjot Kaur Sidhu and Pargat Singh. The party should keep faith in its hard-working workers and leaders. People like Navjot Kaur Sidhu, Pargat Singh, Bhagwant Mann are in politics because they are celebrities. So, if Aam Aadmi Party can field Bhagwant Mann against Sukhbir Singh Badal, then why cannot Congress. Navjot Kaur is a more serious candidate than Bhagwant Mann against Sukhbir or Majithia or Joshi or any minister of the incumbent government.”