Gurdaspur bypoll: Partap Bajwa finally campaigns for Jakhar
The participation of Bajwa, a former member of Lok Sabha from Gurdaspur, in the electioneering assumes significance amid reports that he had sought a ticket for his wife for the bypoll.punjab Updated: Oct 02, 2017 19:44 IST
Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa on Monday joined the campaign for Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll for the first time after remaining absent and sought votes for party candidate Sunil Jakhar, calling him an “ideal” nominee.
The participation of Bajwa, a former member of Lok Sabha from Gurdaspur, in the electioneering assumes significance amid reports that he had sought a ticket for his wife for the bypoll.
“Sunil Jakhar is like a brother to me and an ideal candidate to represent the people in this border belt in Parliament”
The ticket went to Jakhar as his name was recommended by Punjab chief minister (CM) Amarinder Singh to the party high command, party sources said.
A few days ago, Punjab BJP chief Vijay Sampla had even taken a dig at Jakhar, asking him why Bajwa was “missing” from his poll campaign.
Talking to media at the residence of Qadian MLA Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa on Monday, the Rajya Sabha member said he would campaign for Jakhar in all nine assembly segments of the Gurdaspur seat.
Later in the day, addressing a workers’ meeting at Tugalwal village ground in Qadian, Bajwa said Jakhar was like a brother to him. “Sunil Jakhar is like a brother to me and an ideal candidate to represent the people in this border belt in Parliament,” he said.
Lambasting Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) members, Jakhar said the Akalis claimed to be ‘Faqr-E-Quam’ (pride of the community), but they allegedly “sold off” Punjab’s interests for their personal gains. He was referring to the Rs 32,000- crore foodgrain “scam” during the Akali regime and vowed to bring back every dime.
“It was former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who looked after the interests of Punjab and was the real Faqr-E-Quam and Captain Amarinder Singh is ‘Punjab Da Sher’,” said Jakhar, declaring that the Congress government would take into account the government funds misused by the Akalis and bring the culprits to book.
Jakhar, who was also present there, recalled that Lok Sabha MP Bajwa got 400-km roads constructed in Gurdaspur.
Later, addressing worker meetings in Qadian, Jakhar charged BJP candidate Swarn Salaria with giving “misleading” statements on GST and other issues.
“Contrary to what Salaria was projecting, GST had not benefited anyone so far,” he said, challenging his opponent to engage in a debate with him on issues of education and employment.
Referring to alleged atrocities against Dalits during the Akali regime, Jakhar recalled that he had always raised his voice against such incidents.
Jakhar said the Capt Amarinder government was ensuring that every elderly person got his old age pension and every family eligible for Blue Cards received their due irrespective of their political allegiance.
Jakhar, who was also the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, came down heavily on the price rise under the Modi government, pointing out that the LPG cylinder that used to cost Rs 400 under the UPA government now costs Rs 744.
“A vote for Salaria will send across a misleading message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that people are happy with the central government’s policies,” said Jakhar, exhorting the people to cast their vote judiciously.
Earlier, addressing a meeting organised by the United Christian Front in Gurdaspur, Jakhar said the minorities needed political empowerment, which only the Congress could provide them.
The Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll, necessitated following the death of actor and BJP MP Vinod Khanna, has been scheduled for October 11.