Ludhiana battle ‘war against traitor’, says Punjab Congress chief : The Tribune India

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Ludhiana battle ‘war against traitor’, says Punjab Congress chief

AMRINDER SINGH RAJA WARRING

Ludhiana battle ‘war against traitor’, says Punjab Congress chief

Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring campaigns in Ludhiana on Thursday.



Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana May 30

It’s 5 am and the cavalcade is getting ready to carry Punjab Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring from his friend’s place in South City here on Thursday. Since it is the last day of campaigning, the three-time sitting MLA from Gidderbaha and former Transport Minister must start the day early.

This election is not just about choosing a representative, but about safeguarding our democracy and ensuring a brighter future for all. I urge every voter to come forward and make their voice heard. — AMRINDER SINGH RAJA WARRING

After a Japji Sahib paath, the 46-year-old leader — clad in a white shirt and blue trousers and sporting a sky-blue turban — rushes out of the house to get into his white Land Rover Defender SUV.

Having a quick chat with his young wife Amrita, who has woken up early to see off her husband, Warring leaves in a cavalcade of around a dozen high-end vehicles.

With local leaders and halqa in-charges of the party seated in his SUV, the Congress candidate discusses the day’s schedule and the strategy to pull all stops against his nearest rival, the BJP’s Ravneet Singh Bittu, a friend-turned-foe who is a three-time sitting MP.

The cavalcade halts at sabzi mandi in Ludhiana East, where the early morning walkers, buyers and traders greet him with folded hands, with some even offering him garlands. “Since today is the last day of campaigning, there will be no rest until the wee hours tomorrow,” the firebrand leader tells The Tribune.

Known for taking on heavyweight rivals, Warring had shot to fame in 2012 for defeating then Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal in Gidderbaha, Manpreet’s home constituency.

However, the Congress Young Turk was unsuccessful in the 2019 parliamentary election when he lost to the sitting SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal by over 20,000 votes.

Unfazed by the defeat, Warring bounced back in the 2022 Assembly poll by retaining the Gidderbaha seat for a third consecutive term even as a majority of the bigwigs from both the Congress and the SAD had tasted defeat at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party, the new entrant that won an unprecedented 92 seats.

This energetic MLA sings songs and dances during his public meetings to strike a chord with the commoners. From Ludhiana East, Warring leads a bike rally to Ludhiana North, where he conducts door-to-door canvassing.

The next stops of the roving Congressman are Atam Nagar and Ludhiana South, where he had recently received a big boost when the Bains brothers — Simarjeet Singh and Balwinder Singh, both former MLAs — joined the party. At Ludhiana South, the Bains brothers lead the show, with several locals airing their grievances — lack of basic civic amenities, inflation, unemployment and corruption, among others.

“Vote for Congress and elect me as your MP. I promise you I’ll wipe out all ills prevailing in society and fulfil all your demands,” Raja declares to a big public applause and slogans of “Haath badlega haalat”. With him getting frequent calls about next scheduled meetings, the Congress cavalcade vrooms to Ghumar Mandi for a roadshow.

With no time for a proper meal, Warring quenches his thirst with water and fresh juices that he carries along, and ends his hunger pangs with whatever he is offered by the supporters. He, however, never omits stopping for street food, especially golgappas, whenever he feels like eating.

In a last-ditch effort, Warring warns the people against the “proxies fielded by the BJP to damage the Congress”.

Training his guns on Bittu, Warring says it is a fight between “gaddari” and “vafadaari”. “I’m dedicated to the Congress’ values and was entrusted by our top leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to contest from Ludhiana. They want me to win the election and send a message to the entire nation that there is no place in the heart of the electorate for traitors. I entered the contest from Ludhiana, bolstered by the unwavering trust vested in me by the Congress leadership. I have never shied away from any challenge presented to me, and the Congress high command has deemed me fit to contest this seat. I am poised to embark upon this endeavour and shall dedicate myself wholeheartedly to achieving success,” the PPCC chief asserts.

He says this is an election to save the constitution and democracy. “My contest with Ravneet Bittu is not about personal rivalry, but it is against a traitor who once enjoyed the trust and patronage of the Congress, elected for our cause but betrayed the people. This election will show that such treachery won’t be tolerated. I am confident about the steadfast support of the people of Ludhiana,” Warring adds.

Well after 5 pm, marking the official end of campaigning, Warring, flanked by his supporters, is out in the city to garner support. “It will be around 2 or 3 am when I will be back home,” he signs off. With a near-22-hour day, he will have earned a well-deserved rest by the time he returns home.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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