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Posted at: Apr 23, 2019, 7:55 AM; last updated: Apr 23, 2019, 10:13 AM (IST)

2.5-hour wait, hot weather keep crowd unresponsive at Cong rally

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 22

The crowd at a rally organised by the Congress during the filing of nomination papers of Jalandhar Lok Sabha candidate and sitting MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh today was apparently not much responsive.

As the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh came late by over two-and-a-half hour and weather remained very hot, it became difficult for party leaders to keep the gathering settled for so long. With the stage set far off from the crowd even for an election rally and most area around the stage kept uncovered from all sides, there was only a small space to arrange chairs for 2,000 persons.

With about 68 party councillors (of whom only 25 appeared) of the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation, several block samiti members and sarpanches and a few supporters of each of the six Congress MLAs, it was not difficult for the party to keep these chairs occupied. Leaders, including former minister Avtar Henry, tried to charge up the atmosphere with their speeches.

Gulshan Sharma joins party

The seventh of the nine wickets of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from the Jalandhar Lok Sabha area too fell as its Jalandhar North candidate Gulshan Sharma was today inducted in the Congress. Having remained completely inactive in AAP since he lost the Assembly poll, he today joined the Congress saying: “Ever since I lost, no one from AAP ever chose to even enquire if I was doing fine.” A former junior vice-president of the Jullundur Gymkhana Club, Sharma said even the new AAP candidate Justice Jora Singh (retd) did not try to contact him.

“Party workers put his posters in my area but never did they approach me for any help. Hence, I thought that it will be better if I move to the Congress and get a better chance to serve people,” he said.

Capt calls for industrial cluster

In the rally, Amarinder harped on the employment issue. He said: “There are 3.5 lakh government employees in the state, of whom 11,000 retire annually. This is a small number. We want to give more employment opportunities like the way we are intending to do in the New Cycle Valley in Ludhiana or a dairy project in Pathankot.”

For Jalandhar, he proposed setting up of an industrial cluster, which he said could be planned once the poll code gets lifted.

Road blocked

As the Chief Minister was scheduled to attend a rally in front of the District Administrative Complex, the road in front of it remained blocked for a long time. The public faced harassment as they were not allowed to proceed beyond the intersection near the courts complex.

Chandan Grewal annoyed with Congress

A prominent Valmiki leader and president of the Safai Mazdoor Union, Chandan Grewal, has expressed much annoyance with the Congress over the party not accepting his demand to appoint him as the halqa in-charge of Adampur.

Former MP MS Kaypee, who was angry with the party and joined the rally today, gave a hug to the Chief Minister and the party candidate, Chaudhary Santokh Singh. He had contested from Adampur in 2017. His return to the party fold was seen as a more important development for the party and in such a scenario, the party could not accept Grewal’s demand. Grewal, who had been planning to join today with a pomp and show, said Congress leaders tried to scuttle his political career. The Mayor and Congress councillors are now worried that he could take on the same from them through safai karamchari protests in days to come.


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