Days after former Union minister Manish Tewari staked claim for Lok Sabha ticket from Chandigarh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday appointed him the chairman of media coordination committee ahead of the general elections.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will lead the Congress’s poll campaign in Punjab. The party also announced a 21-member state election committee headed by Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar. The committee has other senior leaders, including Amarinder Singh, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Preneet Kaur and Pratap Singh Bajwa as its members.
The campaign committee for Punjab includes Ambika Soni, Shamsher Singh Dullo, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Ashwani Kumar, Manpreet Singh Badal and Navjot Singh Sidhu.
However, Sidhu, also a minister in Punjab cabinet , is not part of any other committee, including the important coordination committee which has all top leaders from the state. Another Punjab minister Vijay Inder Singla has been appointed the chairman of publicity committee.
Meanwhile, Punjab Congress general secretary Pawan Dewan on Tuesday formally staked claim for the party ticket to contest from Ludhiana in the Lok Sabha polls. Dewan, who hails from Ludhiana, submitted his application for ticket at the Punjab Congress office here.
“I have been associated with the Congress party for past 30 years. I have served the party in various capacities. I was block president, president of the district youth Congress and then district unit president (from Ludhiana). Now, I am general secretary of the Punjab Congress,” Dewan said after submitting his application.
Dewan, a close confidant of senior Congress leader and former Union minister Manish Tewari, said he is hopeful that party will consider his name while allotting ticket for the Ludhiana seat.
At present, Congress’ Ravneet Singh Bittu represents the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency.
Former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is ex-MP from Chandigarh, and Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur have staked claim for the Congress ticket from Chandigarh.
On Monday, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill had staked claim for the party ticket to contest from Anandpur Sahib seat in Punjab. Anandpur Sahib seat is currently represented by SAD MP Prem Singh Chandumajra who had defeated senior Congress leader and former Union minister Ambika Soni in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
With the ‘Mission 13’ campaign, the Punjab Congress has already begun an exercise to find winnable candidates for the 13 Lok Sabha seats for the upcoming elections.
Punjab has 13 Lok Sabha seats. Out of these, four seats each are held by the Akali Dal, AAP and the Congress while one by the BJP.