A chance to serve my birthplace: Chandigarh Congress candidate Manish Tewari : The Tribune India

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A chance to serve my birthplace: Chandigarh Congress candidate Manish Tewari

Congress candidate files nomination papers after padyatra; Bansal skips roadshow

A chance to serve my birthplace: Chandigarh Congress candidate Manish Tewari

INDIA bloc candidate Manish Tewari along with his supporters on way to file his nomination papers in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Vicky

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14

Congress leader Manish Tewari held a copy of the Constitution in one hand as he submitted himself to a constant shower of flower petals from a JCB machine, while his supporters drove him to the office of the Deputy Commissioner to file his nomination as the party candidate for Chandigarh.

The outgoing MP from the Anandpur Sahib constituency, Tewari clearly prevailed upon the party high command in Delhi “to give him a chance from Chandigarh”, despite stiff opposition from fellow Congress leader and former Chandigarh MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Bansal among star campaigners

Even as former MP Bansal has not joined campaigning of the party candidate so far, he has been named among 40 star campaigners for Chandigarh. National party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi are in the list. HS Lucky, who is also a star campaigner, said most of the national leaders would come in the last week.

Pawan Kumar Bansal

Tewari was accompanied by his daughter, Ineka, as well as hundreds of Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters, who danced and chanted “ab ki bari, Manish Tewari”. Today’s jubilant scenes notwithstanding, the Congress leader faces a stiff challenge from the BJP’s Sanjay Tandon. The son of former RSS pracharak Balram Das Tandon, Sanjay Tandon’s campaign is likely to be galvanised by the RSS.

A member of the so-called — and now defunct — “G-23” group in the Congress, which was seen as far back as 2020 to disagree with Rahul Gandhi’s leadership and style of functioning, after the party lost several elections under him, Tewari’s candidature is acknowledgement that the Congress is willing to engage with controlled dissenters.

Pawan Bansal was persuaded to fall in line, although he didn’t come out and openly support Tewari neither during the padyatra nor when he filed his nomination today. The honours were done by city Congress president HS Lucky, Mayor Kuldeep Dhalor, AAP leader Chandermukhi and Congress leader Harmail Kesari.

Justice Ajay Tewari, a cousin, filed papers as the covering candidate. “I met him this morning, he gave me his blessings,” said Tewari after filing papers, adding that the BJP is not going to win even 150 seats across the country.

Workers from AAP and the Samajwadi Party also joined Tewari’s padyatra. A two-time MP from Punjab — he has won Ludhiana as well as Anandpur Sahib seats - Tewari says he wants to fight from Chandigarh because of his old and ardent desire to "do something" for the city where he was born and brought up and also started his political career.

His father, Prof VN Tewari from PU, was assassinated in 1984 at their Sector 24 residence by terrorists. His mother was a former Dean at the PGI.

Even when he was an MP from Anandpur Sahib, Tewari said he had been funding some city projects with money from his MP scheme - setting up open air gyms in parks, for instance.

"I was born and brought up here. The blood of our family is mingled in this soil. I have very deep emotional connect with the city. I always had aspirations to contesting from here, though I went to different 'karambhumis' where the party sent me. Now, I have got a chance to serve my own birthplace," he said.

According to his nomination documents, Tewari and his wife Naznin Shafa have movable and immovable assets worth Rs 29.67 crore. Tewari also owns a .32-bore revolver inherited from his mother. The weapon costs about Rs 1.50 lakh. He has pegged his total income at Rs 73 lakh in 2022-23 and that of his wife at Rs 45 lakh.

As per the affidavit filed before the District Election Officer, Tewari has movable assets worth 6.53 crore, including four cars, while his wife has assets worth Rs 2.27 crore, including jewellery worth Rs 1.12 crore.Tewari's immovable assets are valued at Rs 9.62 crore, while his wife owns assets worth Rs 11.25 crore.

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