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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

In Amritsar, Jaitley says he’s no outsider

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times   Amritsar, March 19, 2014
First Published: 09:33 IST(19/3/2014) | Last Updated: 09:34 IST(19/3/2014)

Chosen by the BJP high command to contest from Amritsar, senior leader Arun Jaitley who reached here on Tuesday dismissed the ‘outsider’ tag, saying he did not consider himself as an outsider as he was a frequent visitor to the holy city and had relatives here.

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Jaitley, who was talking to the media during his maiden visit after being announced the BJP candidate, said, “I frequently visit Amritsar. I have strong family ties to this place and many of my family members have a strong connect to this place. So I do not consider myself as an outsider.” He said the local leaders also had great potential but the party also considered him a local leader, said Jaitley, who makes his poll debut from Amritsar.

“If I get the opportunity to serve the city, I will try to make an impact. The city has great scope in the area of trade and tourism. Once the NDA government is formed, Punjab will benefit immensely.”
The senior leader thanked the Akali and BJP leaders for the overwhelming welcome saying he was sure people would support him during elections.

Even as Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu gave enough indications that he wanted to contest from Amritsar and was denied the ticket, his political guru Jaitley said, “Sidhu had been persuading me to contest and I was persuading him to contest. He finally succeeded.”

“Sidhu is an asset to the party and our relations are strong. He will be active in the campaign and the party will use his talent in campaigning also at other places,” he added.

The BJP leader lashed out at the UPA government saying, “The UPA has failed on all fronts and this is the reason it would struggle to get to a respectable tally. Congress leaders are reluctant to contest. This shows the state of affairs in the Congress.”

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