Amritsar MP and Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said he will contest from his home turf Patiala in the 2017 assembly polls.
“Though the entire state is mine, the city will always remain my first preference as it’s my birthplace,” said Amarinder, a royal family scion, when asked about his plans for the upcoming polls.
Amarinder also made it clear that apart from him, no other member of the royal family, including his wife Preneet Kaur and son Raninder Singh, will contest the assembly polls. Preneet is the sitting MLA from the Patiala assembly constituency.
“Preneet has been always interested in the Lok Sabha elections, while I prefer the assembly polls,” said Amarinder.
“After I won the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, Preneet agreed to contest the Patiala assembly bypoll to ensure that the Congress retains the seat,” he added.
Amarinder had trounced BJP heavyweight Arun Jaitley to win the Amritsar LS seat. Initially, Captain was reluctant to contest the LS polls from Amritsar, but later agreed after being persuaded by party president Sonia Gandhi.
Amarinder said he firmly believed in ‘one ticket, one family’ policy. “When the Punjab government holds a meeting, it seems like a gathering of Badal family. We criticise Badal, but have to set a right example and I have to start from my own family,” said Captain, adding that he had already forwarded his suggestion to the party high command.
On Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee reconstitution, Amarinder hinted that he will retain the body formed by former PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa.
“I’ve not recommended any changes. I only want more people to be accommodated,’ said Amarinder.
Fearing that the scrapping of old PPCC formation will lead to dissidence, Captain has taken a calculative step to retain the body, said sources. Amarinder has sent a list of nearly two hundred names which will be added to the existing list.