WHILE KEWAL Singh Dhillon, Congress candidate from Sangrur, claimed he got a massive response on the first day of campaigning during a road show from Barnala to Sangrur Monday, another leader who had hoped for a ticket from the same seat questioned his candidacy alleging that the party was ignoring its OBC candidates.
Jaswinder Singh Dhiman, vice-president of Youth Congress Sangrur, said, “Time and time again, the party has neglected OBC candidates and the ones who are working hard. It made the wrong choice in fielding Dhillon. “
His father, Amargarh MLA Jagjit Singh Dhiman, who has spoken against the party a number of times in the past as well, said, “Sangrur has nearly 15 lakh voters, of which nearly 5 lakh are of OBC category. My son, being an OBC candidate, should have been given this chance. Even in the past, the party has neglected OBC candidates a number of times. I don’t know what is his (Jaswinder’s) plan. If he has any plans to contest independently, I will be by his side.”
Jagjit Singh Dhiman himself had won as an independent candidate from Dirba in 2002 and had joined Congress after winning. He won again from Dirba in 2007 while he was shifted to Amargarh constituency in 2012, which is about 90 km from Dirba, from where he lost. But in 2017, he won again from Amargarh. Dhiman had questioned his own government’s claims to control drug smuggling in July 2017. Later, he had resigned from all party posts when he was denied a berth during Cabinet expansion. Now his son was hoping for a Lok Sabha ticket.
Jaswinder said, “I had been working hard in the area for the past two years, while Kewal Dhillon hardly moves out among masses. He only can be seen whenever elections draw near.”
Dhillon had won as MLA from Barnala in 2007 and 2012 while in 2017, he had lost to AAP’s Meet Hayer. “I have done many development works in Barnala and the same will be done in Sangrur too,” he said on Monday.
Asked about Dhiman’s opposition to his candidacy, he said, “Everyone in the party has the right to demand a ticket. However, I am in touch with Jagjit Singh Dhiman and his son. At times, some differences do occur within a family. But they will be sorted out soon and even they will be walking along in the campaign.”
At the road show, Dhillon was accompanied by Congress leaders Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Daman Bajwa, Congress Minister Razia Sultana and many others. Sangrur MLA and Cabinet minister Vijay Inder Singla, who was absent at the road show, later told The Indian Express, “I very much supporting Kewal Dhillon. However I am away in Kathua in connection with the CM’s public meeting to be held on Tuesday. I have been deputed by the CM for arrangements. I will be supporting Dhillon throughout the campaign.”