Amritsar voters disillusioned with 'outsider' representing them in Lok Sabha
Voters in this constituency seem to be disillusioned with 'outsiders' seeking to represent them in the Lok Sabha, and want local leaders of their choice to present their views in parliament.
There is a general feeling that outsiders representing them have not been keeping their promises and are not available, and therefore, they would not like any para-shooter to drop in from outside.
It is learnt that political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), had been mulling names from outside, but are in quandary after sensing the local mood. Now, as the parties are deliberating upon the names of the probable candidates, they are keeping this factor in mind before giving away tickets to candidates.
AAP had almost declared Sufi singer Rabbi Shergill as a candidate from here, but then, withheld his name due to the factor weighing large over the choice. The AAP does not want to take a vertical split risk within the party, as street revolutionaries would want some local leader to be given the ticket.
The AAP's district unit even shot off a letter to the party high command against imposing any outsider on the voters. The state unit had also expressed similar views.
Voters are reportedly disillusioned because BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu has not been available to them for many years. He has not visited a single village during his whole term as an MP, though he won with support from the rural areas. In the urban areas, he was trounced by Congress candidate O.P. Soni.
Even Akali MLAs are disappointed over his non-cooperative behavior. A majority of the people feel that he has been spending too much of his time on TV comedy shows and cricket commentary rather than attending to their issues and problems.
Though Sidhu has built a house in the city to show that he is a localite, he has failed to remove the tag of an outsider. Now, all eyes are set on the BJP, which had earlier been considering the names of senior national leader Arun Jaitley and BJP state chief Kamal Sharma or some other celebrity from outside. But the party seems to be disinclined to take the risk of bringing any outsider.
According to reports, the Congress may field Raj Babbar or Sunny Deol from Amritsar, leaving local aspirants disappointed.
In the past, the Congress had senior leader R.L. Bhatia as an MP for three long terms. He was a local leader.
Thursday's BJP central parliamentary board meeting, and other meetings of the Congress and the AAP will assume significance.
(Posted on 27-02-2014)