Former PM IK Gujral may not be contesting the polls himself but he is taking the elections very seriously. With son Naresh Gujral in the fray from here, Gujral — who has won twice from here — is busy campaigning and is banking on his performance as MP and PM for Naresh's success.
However, what was being advertised as Gujral's greatest achievement — his decision to waive off the over Rs. 8,000-crore loan advanced to Punjab during the days of militancy — has become mired in controversy. With the Punjab government releasing documents showing that the loan is still outstanding, Gujral has gone on the defensive. He says there have been "procedural delays" in the implementation of his decision. Who does he blame? The Punjab government.
Meanwhile, at various meetings, Gujral's association with the constituency comes in handy. While his speech is essentially a repeat of the promises fulfilled by him and the failure of the state government in carrying on developmental works, he reminds people that Naresh will contest the elections "ethically" — just like him.
When it is pointed out that it appears that he, and not his son, is contesting, his answer is candid. "The son does own up the sins and achievements of the father," he says.