The Hush Post| 13:59pm |one-minute-read
Ludhiana Congress seems to be headed for an internal fight ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The party is vertically divided over choice for its candidate for the LS polls from Ludhiana.
Three names are doing the rounds: Ravneet Bittu, Rakesh Pandey and Pawan Dewan.
The Ludhiana North MLA 65-year-old Rakesh Pandey has applied for a ticket from Ludhiana. He has applied against sitting Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu. Notably, Bittu was the one who wasn’t in favour of Pandey for the Ludhiana North constituency during the 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls. It was at the eleventh hour that Pandey got a green signal to contest the elections and he won it.
In the second week of February, Dushyant Pandey, son of six-time Congress MLA and former minister Rakesh Pandey, went to Chandigarh and submitted the application of his father for Lok Sabha ticket from Ludhiana.
Bittu reportedly has referred to Pandey like a father figure but was instrumental in lobbying against Pandey getting the ticket during Vidhan Sabha polls
Bittu is the grandson of former CM Beant Singh who was assassinated by Khalistani forces on August 31st, 1995. On the other hand, Pandey is the son of slain Congress leader Joginder Pandey. Senior Pandey was allegedly killed by terrorists in 1987. A three-time MLA and two-time minister, Joginder Pandey also contested Lok Sabha polls from Ludhiana in 1985. However, he lost to SAD’s Mewa Singh Gill by a small margin of 135 votes.
MLA Rakesh Pandey reportedly said that he has applied for the ticket not for revenge but because he genuinely thinks he is a better candidate.
“I have more experience and after being an MLA six times, I can represent the people of Ludhiana in Lok Sabha. I have nothing against Bittu. One should ask him if he has anything against me.”
Bittu reportedly has referred to Pandey like a father figure. He has said that Pandey is a senior politician and there is no heartburn between the two.
Another contender from Ludhiana is former district Congress president Pawan Dewan. He too has applied for Congress ticket from Ludhiana. He is a close aide of former MP Manish Tewari, who wants to fight elections from Chandigarh.