The Congress on Thursday indicated that sitting MP and Union Minister Manish Tewari will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Ludhiana. Shakeel Ahmed, secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs, said, “If he is medically fit, then there is no reason for him not to contest.”
Tewari, who has been absent from his constituency since February end, had apparently taken ill and was admitted in a Delhi hospital. Tewari had even conveyed to the high command that they could find a new face for the city as he was advised rest, sources said.
However, yesterday morning, a number of Congress leaders from Ludhiana went to Delhi to meet Tewari and convince him to contest from Ludhiana.
Today Tewari was greeted by workers and senior leaders at his Delhi house, where he announced that he was ready to put up a tough fight against rivals despite his ‘ill health’, and would be in the city in a day or two.
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Tewari had campaigned for a day in the last week of February, when he had also met Congress leaders from rural areas. Sources said that workers had expressed their grievances at that meeting, saying that the minister had hardly interacted with them in the past five years. Tewari apologised to them. After that, Tewari was not seen in Ludhiana.
The leaders who went to meet him in Delhi included district Congress committee urban and rural presidents Pawan Dewan and Malkiat Singh Dakha, senior leader K K Bawa and many others. They said, “We are happy that Tewari is fit to contest the elections and now rivals are in real trouble. The real game will start now.” SAD leader Manpreet Singh Ayali’s campaign was till now directed at Tewari’s absence. He had claimed that Tewari had already accepted defeat by running away from the scene.