In an embarrassment to the Congress, its Bholath candidate and former MLA Gurwinder Atwal on Thursday refused to contest from the segment, seeking his nomination from Nakodar instead.
Atwal took the decision after facing stiff opposition from local workers and leaders as he is considered an outsider. “I tried my best to strike a rapport among the local leaders but they are not ready to stand by me. How can anybody win elections without workers. That’s why I have expressed my inability to contest from Bholath,” Atwal told HT.
The other reason behind Atwal developing the cold feet is due to the fact that former Congress MLA Sukhpal Khaira (now AAP candidate) has already taken away most of the Congress cadres with him. Also, the Congress is a divided house with more than five ticket claimants. The SAD has given ticket to former minister Jagir Kaur’s son-in-law Yuvraj Bhupinder Singh.
Atwal, who has twice represented Nurmahal segment (dissolved after delimitations before 2012 polls) of Jalandhar, was seeking ticket from Nakodar, but his candidature was opposed by former minister Amarjit Singh Samra.
“In 2012, the ticket was denied to me because Samra was there. Since now he has opted out, I should be the obvious choice for the seat,” said Atwal.
The former MLA on Thursday also addressed a meeting of party workers in Nakodar.