Punjab: Dissent in Bathinda Congress camp over ticket to turncoat Jeet Mohinder - Hindustan Times
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Punjab: Dissent in Bathinda Congress camp over ticket to turncoat Jeet Mohinder

ByVishal Joshi
Apr 18, 2024 02:41 PM IST

Bathinda rural Congress chief Khushbaz Jattana says there’s resentment against former MLA Jeet Mohinder’s candidature as he joined party from Shiromani Akali Dal only six months ago, while party workers had been fighting him from Talwandi Sabo assembly segment since 2014.

Dissidence has surfaced in the Bathinda district unit of the Congress with a party workers’ meeting being convened against Lok Sabha candidate Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu.

Dissidence has surfaced in the Bathinda district unit of the Congress with a party workers’ meeting being convened against Lok Sabha candidate Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu on Thursday evening. (HT file photo)
Dissidence has surfaced in the Bathinda district unit of the Congress with a party workers’ meeting being convened against Lok Sabha candidate Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu on Thursday evening. (HT file photo)

The party’s Bathinda rural unit chief, Khushbaz Jattana, said there was resentment against Jeet Mohinder’s candidature as he had joined the Congress only six months ago. During the meeting on Thursday evening, Jattana said key party workers from Talwandi Sabo segment will interact with their counterparts from other assembly segments to discuss the nomination.

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“Jeet Mohinder was a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and the Congress unit has been fighting him from Talwandi Sabo assembly segment since 2014. Now, he has suddenly joined the Congress and our party gave priority to a turncoat over the loyal cadre. There is bound to be resentment,” said Jattana.

Jattana said the party cadre in Bathinda are of the view that Amrita Warring, the wife of state Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, would have been a better choice. Raja Warring and Congress Legislature Party leader Partap Singh Bajwa have announced that neither they nor their family members will be contesting the elections as the organisation needs their services.

But Jattana argued, saying: “There are several old-time Congress leaders, who have nurtured the party for years. The committed cadre is asking us about the choice of candidate. We are all taken aback.”

Reiterating his loyalty to the Congress, Jattana said: “I had joined the Congress 20 years ago and continue to serve it under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.”

Jeet Mohinder, who is the son of ex-bureaucrat and former Punjab Public Service Commission chairman Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, first contested unsuccessfully from the Talwandi Sabo assembly constituency in 1997 on the SAD ticket. He contested as an Independent from the seat in 2002 and defeated then Congress candidate Harminder Singh Jassi.

He was inducted into the party by then Congress chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh in 2004 and got the ticket in 2007 from Talwandi Sabo and won.

He last won on a Congress ticket in 2012 and switched to the SAD in 2014.

Defeated twice from Talwandi Sabo – on the SAD ticket in 2017 and 2022 – he rejoined the Congress in October last year to supersede claims by the old guard.

In his interaction with reporters in Bathinda on Tuesday, Jeet Mohinder claimed that the district unit had sunk differences to put up a united show. “I am confident that my political rival in the party, Khushbaz Jattana, will also work with me and help the Congress win the seat. Several leaders had an ambition to get the Lok Sabha ticket but now we will work as a team, there is no rivalry,” he added.

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