Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Cong’s Vikramjit, Channi locked in tug of war for Jalandhar ticket

WHILE VIKRAMJIT IS CAMPING IN DELHI TO MEET SENIOR PARTY LEADERS, CHANNI IS BUSY MINGLING WITH LOCALS

- Navrajdeep Singh navrajdeep.singh@htlive.com

Even as the Congress is yet to name nominees for any of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, Phillaur MLA Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary and former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi are tied in a tug of war for the Jalandhar ticket.

While Vikramjit, who had recently resigned as the chief whip of the party in Punjab Vidhan Sabha after being ‘ignored’ by the high command, is camping in New Delhi with the hope to meet senior leaders and secure the ticket, Channi is trying to generate goodwill on the ground.

On Thursday, Channi, who is being considered the top contenders for the ticket, visited a local mosque in Jalandhar and offered Eid prayers with the Muslim community.

“I have had a long associatio­n with the people of Jalandhar. The party will take the final call on the candidate. I will support whoever gets the ticket from this constituen­cy,” said Channi who has been in the city for almost a month now.

He added that several leaders are being considered for the Jalandhar seat, including Adampur MLA Sukwinder Singh Kotli and former MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee. “Being a Congress loyalist, it is my duty to support the candidate announced by the party high command,” said Channi, who seemed to categorica­lly avoid mentioning Vikramjit’s name in the list of contenders.

“Even during the Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll, I actively campaigned for the Congress candidate and stayed at deras in Jalandhar,” said Channi.

The Phillaur MLA said: “The party’s screening committee will take the final call on the candidate. Channi’s mere presence in Jalandhar doesn’t make him a candidate.”

“The former CM Channi is going from dera to dera, visiting mosques and paying obeisance at Ayodhya just for purging his guilt of the sins committed during his short stint as the Punjab CM,” said Vikramjit, who is the Chaudhary family’s 16th representa­tive in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, which also happens to be the state’s 16th assembly.

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