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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Amritsar: BJP leaders want Jaitley to contest

PTI, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, March 10, 2014
First Published: 21:07 IST(10/3/2014) | Last Updated: 16:27 IST(11/3/2014)

The tussle in the BJP over Amritsar Lok Sabha seat on Monday surfaced with a section of party's Punjab unit demanding that Arun Jaitley be fielded from the constituency instead of sitting MP Navjot Singh Sidhu.

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BJP's local leadership, led by cabinet minister Anil Joshi and state general secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina along iwth some BJP municipal councilors, raised a banner of revolt against Sidhu. BJP is a key ally of the ruling SAD in Punjab. As per the seat-sharing arrangement, BJP fields its candidates on three seats. At a press conference here, local leaders vehemently opposed allocation of the ticket to sitting MP Sidhu and sought one for Jaitley.

They claimed that Jaitley could be a fulltime worker as well as politician for the larger interests of the party and residents of Amritsar parliamentary constituency. Sidhu, who has expressed his differences against SAD patron and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, had of late remained busy with the shooting of a comedy show and TV commentary.

They claimed that if Jaitley contests election from Amritsar, it would also help SAD-BJP alliance to bag all the 13 Lok Sabha seats from Punjab. "Jaitley is a star campaigner of the party and people of Punjab like him," they said.

Sidhu has won the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat three times in a row. He had raised his voice against Badal for allegedly ignoring him as all development projects in his constituency were allegedly scuttled.

Meanwhile, Sidhu said the local leadership was speaking at the instance of people sitting in the state's power corridor who didn't want him to contest elections from Amritsar once again due to his outspoken nature. Sidhu said, "I don't want to speak against anyone as I have regard for everyone. I have deep regard for chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and his MP wife from Bathinda, Harsimrat Kaur Badal."

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