Lok Sabha elections 2019: Congress Kangra nominee Kajal files papers as party tries to put up a united face
Even as Congress party leaders launched scathing attacks on BJP and PM Narendra Modi, they covertly took a dig at each other, too.Updated: Apr 30, 2019 13:49 IST
Hindustan Times, DHARAMSHALA
While the Opposition party in Himachal is showing off its solidarity, cracks in Congress were laid bare when its candidate from Kangra parliamentary constituency Pawan Kajal filed his nomination on Monday.
The two-term MLA was accompanied by former CM Virbhadra Singh, in-charge of party affairs for Himachal Rajni Patil, All India Congress committee (AICC) secretary and Punjab in-charge Asha Kumari, AICC secretary Sudhir Sharma, Himachal Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore and leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri.
The filing of nomination was followed by a rally held at Dari locality where party cadre, including former Union minister Anand Sharma, Congress national spokesperson Jaiveer Shergil, Rajya Sabha member Viplove Thakur, former minister GS Bali and former MP Chander Kumar were present among other leaders.
Even as Congress party leaders launched scathing attacks on BJP and PM Narendra Modi, they covertly took a dig at each other, too.
While GS Bali expressed ‘displeasure’ over not being invited to accompany Kajal during filing of papers, former CM Virbhadra Singh ‘forgot’ to mention names of few party leaders, including GS Bali, Chander Kumar, Viplove Thakur and Suresh Chandel, in his speech. However, in the middle of his speech, Singh expressed regret and said he had forgotten to mention the names and his act was unintentional.
The disgruntled Bali, without naming any leader, said, “No one asked me to accompany Kajal during filing of nomination papers. I was told about the rally and hence directly came to the venue.”
Addressing the rally, former Union minister Anand Sharma hit out at BJP and PM Modi for ‘taking the political discourse of the country to a new low’. He advised the PM to observe ‘restraint’ in his speeches, which could be damaging for the nation. “It’s a struggle of ideologies. On one side is the Congress with a 134-year glorious history of inclusive and progressive ideology, while on the other hand the BJP divides people on caste, creed and religion,” said Sharma, as he lashed out at BJP over ‘unfulfilled’ promises made during 2014 election.
“PM and BJP are avoiding real issues with silence when asked about the promises made in 2014,” he said.
He added further, “They don’t talk about employment but nationalism and terrorism. The PM is playing with emotions.”
In his address, leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri took a dig at CM Jai Ram Thakur over his statement that he was ‘disgusted’ with Congress manifesto. “Why? Because Congress talked about farmers, women and poor?” Agnihotri asked.
First Published: Apr 30, 2019 13:49 IST