Punjab Congress leaders busy campaigning — at Delhi party office

They start the day with breakfast at Punjab Bhawan, then make their way to the AICC office.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: December 21, 2016 9:13 am
punjab elections, punjab congress, congress, delhi congress office, delhi congress, sad bjp, aam aadmi party, aap, aicc, punjab bhawan, punjab elections ca,paign, campaigning, delhi punjab campaign, indian express news, india news Party’s ticket-seekers have been camping at the Punjab Bhawan in New Delhi.

WHILE THEIR political rivals from the SAD-BJP ruling alliance as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are busy campaigning in Punjab, the state Congress leaders are campaigning elsewhere — at the AICC headquarters in the Capital.

For almost a month now, the party’s ticket-seekers have been camping at the Punjab Bhawan here, making the rounds of the AICC office and residences of members of the screening committee, central election committee and other top leaders who can put in a word in their favour.

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“I have been camping here for a month now. I go to my constituency during the weekend because there are weddings and other functions that I have to attend. I then return to the Capital on Monday,” said Upender Sharma, a former Congress MLA.

Many other aspirants said they had not moved out of Delhi for weeks.

Their daily routine is fixed. They start the day with breakfast at Punjab Bhawan, then make their way to the AICC office. Lunch is usually at the nearby Khan Market or Pandara Road market, often in the company of other prospective candidates, sometimes even those who have set their sights on the same seat. Later, they head back to the AICC office or the residence of a top leader to lobby for tickets.

Sharma was a Congress MLA way back in 1992, after which he never won another election. In his debut term, he was made minister in charge of jails. He is now lobbying for a ticket from Kokapura seat, which he represented over two decades ago. Ahead of the 2012 assembly elections, Sharma quit the Congress and contested as a rebel — he came third.

The supporters of another aspirant, Balwinder Narang, have distributed a two-page note detailing the “resentment” against “outside Hindu candidate”, and support for a local Hindu candidate in Mansa.

The seat is significant as the sons of Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh’s close aide B S Chahal and former union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal are reported to be eyeing it. The note ends with names and signatures of “candidates/ applicants” who have purportedly backed Narang.

Besides their high-end SUVs, the ticket-seekers can be recognised by the files they carry, which not only contain their bio-data but also have documents against other contenders.

While the Congress announced the first list of 61 candidates last week, there were no surprises as 46 people, including 28 MLAs and 9 former MLAs, had contested the 2012 assembly elections on party tickets. The contentious seats have been kept on hold, prolonging the anxiety of the aspirants.

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  1. D
    dr rishi
    Dec 21, 2016 at 3:55 am
    Typical mouthpiece like advice from express. This newspaper is sold out to Congress but advice so personal can come from guardian of a party, like RSS to BJP, Bal thakrey to shivsena etc.
    1. Rajdeep Singh
      Dec 21, 2016 at 9:00 am
      Congress is in huge disarray. Their rivals aap are way ahead in opinion polls as well as on ground It's real shame to see this g old party so lethargic in this do or die elections . Are they writing their own obituary!
      1. G
        Dec 21, 2016 at 3:44 am
        Beg..Prostrate..and then pay to get into the list..congis treate fellow congis like they treated most Indians for long..be at our mercy
        1. I
          IML sood
          Dec 21, 2016 at 3:26 am
          Slaves always remain in attendance of their Master. No wonder they are present in Cong. Rajmata durbar. Lost in election has become their habit so nothing to surprise but their presence in folded hands is enough for them. Wonder how Sidhu family has committed such a grave mistake in following slaves route.
          1. X
            Xavier toppo
            Dec 21, 2016 at 5:10 am
            Indian express is slave news organization of Congress and Muslims
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