Punjab Congress Express in reverse gear due to disgruntled ticket aspirants
The Punjab Congress Express, the first of its kind campaign, didn’t take too long to land in controversy. The campaign, featuring a customised mini-bus, rolled out in Gill with MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu and state Congress V-P Amar Singh as key speakers in Ludhiana.
Party ticket aspirants here objected to the campaign which, they said, promoted a certain party leader.
Senior Congress leader and two-time MLA Malkeet Singh Dakha, Youth Congress vice president Sunny Kainth, Kirtinder Singh Singhpura and Nirmal Kaira objected to the apparent “favour”. Dakha alleged he was not allowed on stage either by “bouncers” of Kishor’s team.
Even though Amar Singh was a ticket aspirant from Gill constituency, his photographs on the hoardings did not go well with other contenders. They alleged that Captain’s poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s team had crossed a line by “favouring” him even before any formal announcement.
After MP Bittu intervened Dakha was allowed to render a short speech. The duel between Amar Singh and him did not stop the two from taking a jibe at one another.
Kainth said, “We all have applied for ticket not Amar Singh alone. We were not even invited for today’s campaign. Senior leader like Dakha was not allowed to sit on stage, forget about us. Prashant Kishor’s team is not going to announce any ticket. Their work is to promote the party, not dictate.”
Later, Bittu got all leaders on stage and clarified that no ticket has been announced for anyone yet by high command. Amar Singh expressed, “(Dakha) is frustrated because his own workers are now in my favor for ticket from Gill,” he said.