Phagwara: Following the demand of a fair representation to Valmiki and Mazhbi Sikh community, the Congress fielded former Punjab minister Joginder Singh Mann from Phagwara (reserve) seat.
The development came as a major boost to the Valmiki and Mazhbi Sikhs, who were demanding that four out of the total eight reserve seats for their community.
A prominent Valmiki community leader, Mann is the nephew of former Union minister Buta Singh and also served as a minister himself. Elated over getting ticket Joginder Mann said, “I have got the ticket on merit. Congress high command has honoured me for my loyalty and hard work in the party.
“The coming three weeks are most crucial for Punjab. I will leave no stone unturned to win this seat with a huge margin to accomplish mission 2017, hence forming government under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh”, he said.
When asked that whether the congress high command has accepted the demand of their community to allot four seats to their leaders, Joginder Mann said, “As per our demand with Capt Amarinder, the party has fielded me from Phagwara and Pawan Adia from Sham Chaurasi (reserve) constituency. The rest four seats would be divided in Majha and Malwa belt of Punjab, hence giving us a fair representation.”
It is pertinent to mention here that Joginder Mann who was handpicked by previous Punjab congress Chief Partap Singh Bajwa was vocal against Capt Amarinder Singh after the Punjab congress faced massive defeat in 2012 assembly polls.
Such was the division in the Congress at that time that Mann had even written a letter to the then Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi terming Capt Amarinder Singh as ‘Maharaja Termite’.
Mann was agitated over the poor representation to Valmikis and Mazhbis in the previous polls, which led to the consecutive debacle of congress in Punjab.