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Gurdaspur bypoll will be a referendum on Modi govt: Jakhar

Jakhar also challenged the opposition to have a debate on any issue related to the state.

punjab Updated: Sep 20, 2017 20:30 IST
Press Trust of India, Chandigarh
Sunil jakhar,Gurdaspur bypoll,Narender Modi
Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar(HT File Photo)

Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar, who has been nominated as party candidate for the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha by-election, on Wednesday said his party would register a “massive” victory in the polls.

He also said the bypoll will be a “referendum” on the Modi government.

“It is a big responsibility (being nominated for Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll). With the kind of faith being reposed in me by the party, I am sure we will win this by-election with the support of all party workers and leaders,” Jakhar said.

Jakhar is a close confidant of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. Also, a number of MLAs from Gurdaspur area have backed his candidature. His name was recommended by the chief minister in a meeting with Congress national president Sonia Gandhi on Monday.

Congress MP Partap Bajwa was also reportedly lobbying for a ticket to his wife Charanjit Kaur Bajwa.

Jakhar, who is from Abohar, said he was well aware of the issues of border areas of Punjab.

“For me, entire Punjab is one. I belong to Gurdaspur as much as I belong to Abohar,” he said while rejecting the opposition parties’ charge that he was as an “outsider”.

He also challenged the opposition to have a debate on any issue related to the state.

“I want SAD president Sukhbir Badal, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann and Punjab BJP chief Vijay Sampla to have a debate on the issues related to the state, and we will answer them all,” he said.

The senior Congress leader also rejected the opposition charge that the state government had failed to honour its poll promises like farm debt waiver etc.

“They should not mislead people with their wrong statements,” he said.

Jakhar claimed that the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll would be a referendum on the Modi government.

“It is the election for a parliamentary seat. People are well aware of this. It will be a referendum on what the BJP promised three years back to garner votes, and what people think about the regime now,” he said.

Asked whether he would get support from Bajwa who had been pressing for a local face in the bypoll, Jakhar said, “I have no doubt about it (his support). It is the party’s fight and I am only representing Congress in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll”.

The Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll was necessitated following the demise of BJP MP Vinod Khanna in April. The polls are slated for October 11.

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 20:29 IST