For Chaudhary, Cong infighting makes contest tough
With just four days left for Lok Sabha polling, internal discord among Congress leaders is expected to damage the prospects of its Jalandhar candidate Santokh Chaudhary, who is facing the SAD-BJP candidate Charanjit Singh Atwal, this time.
The Jalandhar Lok Sabha (reserved) seat, was a Congress bastion which falls in the Dalit heartland Doaba region, with the party having won previous four polls. It was only in 1998 that Inder Kumar Gujral, a Janata Dal candidate, won elections on this seat.
Currently, after getting a ticket following a stiff competition within the party, Chaudhary’s campaign remains low key in the absence of his party’s senior leaders and MLAs in his campaigns. Besides chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh addressing a rally in Kartarpur on May 2 and accompanying him to file nomination papers in Jalandhar, there is no sign of the party high command in Jalandhar.
The SAD-BJP had held four rallies after announcing Charanjit Singh Atwal as its candidate on March 16 and former CM Parkash Singh Badal addressed a rally in his support in Kartarpur.
A senior Congress leader revealed that although Chaudhary’s son – general secretary of PPCC, Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary – is leading his campaign in the constituency, many senior leaders, including Jalandhar MLAs and local party cadre, are not happy with his style of working and have preferred to stay away from campaigns.
Other senior Congress leaders had revolted against Chaudhary’s and are missing from his campaigns.
In Nakodar, former minister Amarjit Singh Samra cancelled his road show last week after Chaudhary failed to turn up.
Even though Chaudhary won with 70, 000 votes in 2014, this time he is facing flak from people for unfilled poll promises by Congress.
Santokh Singh Chaudhary