Lok Sabha election: Aujla struggles to woo ‘opponents’ within party in Amritsar
Though Congress high command has reposed its faith in sitting MP Gurjit Singh Aujla by choosing him as the party candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, he is struggling to get full support from Congress leaders, including a minister and few MLAs, in rural assembly segments.
Ever since his candidature was announced by the Congress, Aujla has been conducting meetings in some of the urban segments which are five in number of total nine, during which Punjab School Education Minister OP Soni, MLA Sunil Dutti (Amritsar north) and other local leaders including former Amritsar Congress chief Jugal Kishore Sharma announced full support to him. On Tuesday, he sought blessings from Soni.
However, he could not conduct such meetings in the rural segments such as Rajasansi, Ajnala and Attari from where the respective legislatures did not want him to be allotted the party ticket. Ever since Aujla’s candidature was announced, they are silent on full support of Aujla.
Notably, Punjab Revenue Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Harpartap Singh Ajnala and Tarsem Singh DC are MLAs from Rajasansi, Ajnala and Attari respectively. Actually, Sarkaria’s close relative and youth Congress leader Dilraj Singh Sarkaria was also in race for party ticket for the lok sabha elections. The demand was also raised by the opponents of Aujla for fielding former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh from Amritsar, though latter refused to contest citing age factor.
Aujla’s supporters say that he worked for the people of the segment during his two-year long tenure day and night and they will give him back by again voting in these elections despite the resistance by the opponents within the party.
As Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is visiting the city along with Congress national president Rahul Gandhi to pay homage to martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh massacre held on April 13, 1919, Aujla is likely to get relief in this respect.
While speaking to HT, Aujla hoped that the things would get favourable for him with the visit by the Chief Minister who will meet the entire leadership of the Amritsar segment during the visit. “The things are getting better. Rest the issues will also be resolved out soon. Actually, some elements are getting some false news items published on a section of the newspapers”, he added.
On the other hand, the opponents are not talking to media on this issue. When contacted, Ajnala and Sarkaria did not respond over phone.
In 2017 Lok Sabha bypoll, Aujla was elected as an MP and he toppled the BJP nominee Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina with a margin of around 2 lakh votes, despite the Modi wave made huge inroads into Utter Pardesh and Uttarakhand. The parliamentary seat fell vacant after Captain Amarinder Singh who defeated BJP bigwig Arun Jaitley, resigned as member of Parliament in protest against Supreme Court verdict on Satluj-Yamuna Link canal issue.