Congress candidate Preneet Kaur with her husband and Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amrinder Singh and others after filing nomination for Patiala Lok Sabha seat.(ANI File Photo)
Congress candidate Preneet Kaur with her husband and Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amrinder Singh and others after filing nomination for Patiala Lok Sabha seat.(ANI File Photo)

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Anger against minister, MLA spells trouble for Congress’ Patiala candidate Preneet Kaur

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when Congress’ Patiala candidate Preneet Kaur lost for the first time in the constituency, she had trailed from Nabha, Shutrana and Sanaur segments.
Hindustan Times, Patiala | By Vishal Rambani, Patiala
UPDATED ON MAY 14, 2019 09:28 AM IST

Congress candidate from Patiala Lok Sabha seat Preneet Kaur is facing rebellion of party workers from three assembly segments in the constituency — Nabha, Patran and Sanaur.

In Nabha, the Congressmen have openly revolted against local MLA and cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and even announced to support Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) candidate Dr Dharamvira Gandhi.

The Congressmen have also vented out their anger against Shutrana MLA Nirmal Singh Shutrana and Sanaur halqa in-charge Harinderpal Singh Harry Mann.

It’s for the first time that Congressmen have openly revolted against the party in Patiala.

In Nabha, party workers organised a parallel rally on Saturday and passed a resolution against Dharamsot.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when Preneet was defeated for the first time in the constituency, she had trailed from Nabha, Shutrana and Sanaur segments.

Also Read | Battle royale in the offing in Patiala as Congress pushes hard to reclaim its old citadel

In Nabha, the anger of Congress workers has been simmering against Dharamsot for the past two years.

The minister was backing his own group of party workers, while ignoring the old Congressmen having affiliation with other leaders of the area, including Amloh MLA Kaka Randeep Singh, who is former legislator from Nabha.

Gurcharan Singh, a party worker, said Congressmen in Nabha were unhappy with the cabinet minister for ignoring them.

“We decided to support Dr Gandhi as the senior Congress leadership failed to address our grievances. We are against Dharamsot, not Preneet. We want that Dharamsot should be shunted out from the cabinet as chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh has announced that whosoever will fail to perform in his segment will be removed from the cabinet.”

Regarding Saturday’s Nabha rally, party worker Surjit Singh, said, “We were expecting Preneet Kaur to turn up at the rally, but she didn’t. Thus we had no other option but to pass a resolution against Dharamsot.”

He added, “Corruption and maltreatment of old Congressmen by local leaders have angered party workers. People are not against Preneet, but they want to punish the local leaders.”

Meanwhile, Dharamsot said Kaka Randeep had instigated party workers, but the situation is now under control. He said he will ensure the Congress lead from the Nabha segment.

However, Kaka Randeep denied the charges and said, “I am campaigning for the Congress in my Amloh constituency and in Fatehgarh Sahib too. “Since I haven’t been able to visit Nabha these days, some people are spreading rumours to tarnish my image.”

In Sanaur, a large number of Congress workers and ex-sarpanches have openly blamed Harry Mann for corruption and backing turncoat Akalis by ignoring party men.

Taking note of the dissent in the area, Amarinder has asked senior Congress leader Lal Singh to meet and pacify party workers there.

In Shutrana, Congress activists are upset over the working style of the local MLA.

Meanwhile, Preneet has deputed his emissaries in Nabha, Sanaur and Shutrana, where the royal family members are now seeking to make a direct connect with the voters.

In 2014 polls, Preneet had trailed by 17,000 votes from Nabha. She had secured 37,690 votes from the segment, while Aam Aadmi Party’s Gandhi had led it with 52,187 votes.

In Sanaur, Preneet had polled 41,008 votes as against Gandhi’s 48,867 votes. In Shutrana she got 33,660 votes while the AAP nominee led the segment by 39,587 votes. She had led from Shutrana only once in her last four elections.

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