The former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will not contest the Lok Sabha elections, said the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, in Chandigarh. This puts to rest all speculation of Dr Singh contesting from Amritsar.
Capt Amarinder made it clear that the former PM was never in the reckoning for candidature as he had made it clear that he was not interested in contesting elections. He described his meeting with Dr Singh in Delhi on Saturday as a courtesy call, during which he briefed him on the Congress plans in Punjab.
Some Congress leaders from the state had reportedly made a fervent appeal to Dr Singh to contest the polls from his birthplace (Amritsar), telling him that Punjabis would be delighted if he represented them in Parliament.
The Congress did not need any alliance in Punjab, nor was it in talks with any party, Capt Amarinder said in response to a question while talking informally.
Exuding confidence about his party's prospects, the CM said the Congress was gung-ho about these polls, as was evident from the fact that it had chosen Ahmedabad – the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — for the CWC meeting. This clearly showed the level of enthusiasm in the party, which was literally ready to take the BJP by its horns.
In response to a question on the Punjab Congress candidates, Captain Amarinder said the next meeting was likely to be held in Delhi around the end of this week. There was no hurry, he said, pointing out that the polling date was more than two months away.