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Municipal Elections Row: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder not to campaign in civic polls

Chandigarh, Dec 13: Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh will not campaign for the Congress in the municipal elections to three corporations Amritsar, Jalandhar and hometown Patiala — and 32 councils across the state this month.

Unlike Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch Parkash Singh Badal, who while remaining CM used to campaign in local polls, Amarinder is known for rarer public appearances. Recently, despite having won Punjab earlier this year at a time when the Congress is down, he didn’t campaign in the Gujarat elections too, where the party is firing on all cylinders to defeat the BJP. For the Punjab MC polls, the BJP has deputed Union minister and state unit president Vijay Sampla to campaign.

Sources said that requests from candidates poured in to the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) office, but the CM decided not to heed. His office has some meetings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, and he will leave for Delhi for official anointment of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president on December 16.

The MC polls are scheduled for December 17, and the results will be declared the same evening.

Confirming the CM’s non-involvement in the campaign, PCC president Sunil Jakhar said it was a decision of the party. “MC elections are a local affair, so the PCC requested the CM not to campaign. He is among the tallest leaders of the party and has nationwide appeal, so he is not required for civic polls, where campaign is limited to personal connect,” said Jakhar, adding that even he would not campaign.

“MLAs and ministers will lead from the front in their respective districts, and I have assigned duties.” Jakhar said he will leave on December 14 for Delhi to take oath as MP on December 15, and then attend the ceremony where Rahul will take charge.

In Patiala, a candidate said, “The CM will come after elections when the members choose the mayor. Being MLA of Patiala Urban, he is also a member of the MC. The same day, he will address a rally to thank voters.”

In the CM’s constituency, his wife and former Union minister Preneet Kaur holds charge of campaign. Cabinet minister Brahm Mohindra too held a meeting of candidates from Patiala Rural segment at his residence on Tuesday, where Preneet asked candidates to work hard to increase the lead.

Source Hindustan Times



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