Anguished over being neglected by a party he served like a “loyal soldier”, Congress veteran N D Tiwari on Tuesday said he would not contest the Lok Sabha polls putting at rest speculation that the octogenarian could stage a political comeback.
In a statement addressed to the people of Uttarakhand here, Tiwari, who recently undertook a 10-day tour of his home constituency Nainital, said he had decided in full conciousness not to contest the Lok Sabha polls. Ever since Tiwari was denied a party ticket to contest from Nainital by the Congress, which has reposed faith in its sitting MP K C Singh Baba, speculation was rife that he could enter the poll arena as an Independent.
“Turning down the request of the people has always been difficult for me because I always place aspirations of the people on a higher pedestal than myself. “However, even if I enter the fray honouring your sentiments I think I will not be able to give you all that you expect from me. Hence, I have decided not to contest,” said the grand old man of Indian politics.
Tiwari also said he felt cheated after the kind of treatment he was given by a “party he served for decades like a loyal soldier”. The former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, who spends more time now a days in Lucknow, expressed his gratefulness to Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for taking care of him at a time when he seemed to have been written off by many.
However, he appealed to people of Uttarakhand not to get disheartened and vote enthusiastically and conscientiously for a dedicated candidate who is energetic and makes himself available to resolve their problems.
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Tiwari had toured Nainital and neighbouring areas along with his recently acknowledged biological son Rohit Shekhar to get a feedback on whether they want him or his son to contest the Lok Sabha polls. Though withdrawing himself from the race for Lok Sabha polls, he said he would be available to people to give his advice on how to fight the ills of the system.
Accusing a section of Congress leaders of trying to build an atmosphere against him by talking about socialism, Tiwari asked them to read the constitution of the Indian National Congress where the concept of democratic socialism is enshrined.