Putting all speculations to rest, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Tuesday that former prime minister Manmohan Singh won’t be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He also rejected reports that Congress was looking to field Singh from Amritsar.
“Former prime minister Manmohan Singh was never in the reckoning for candidature as he had made it clear that he was not interested in contesting elections,” PTI quoted Amarinder as saying. Elections in Punjab are scheduled for May 19.
The development comes after Amarinder, Punjab affairs in-charge Asha Kumari and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Kumar Jakhar met Manmohan Singh at his residence in New Delhi on Sunday.
Amarinder described his meeting with the former prime minister in Delhi as a courtesy call, during which he briefed him about Congress election strategy in Punjab.
Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, finishes his term in June this year. There were reports that a number of MLAs had appealed to the party for his candidature from Punjab as it would galvanise the Congress’ campaign in the state.
The Punjab CM also denied that the Congress was in talks with AAP for an alliance in the state. “The Congress did not need any alliance in Punjab, nor was it in talks with any party on the same,” he said.
Earlier in the day, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said in Delhi that his party and a breakaway outfit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were in talks for an alliance in Punjab for the Lok Sabha polls.