Amarpreet Singh Makkar
The road is not smooth for sitting Congress Member Parliament (MP) from Ludhiana Ravneet Singh Bittu as Congress MLA from Ludhiana North Rakesh Pandey has also applied for the party ticket for the Lok Sabha election from Ludhiana. Earlier, Bittu was the single and strong contender for the ticket after former Union minister and former MP Manish Tewari applied for the ticket from Chandigarh.
Now, Pandey laid claim for the ticket and he sent his nomination for ticket to the party high command.Six-time MLA and former minister Rakesh Pandey was annoyed with the party after his name was not considered for a Cabinet berth in Punjab government. Pandey has shown his resentment against the party and had met national president Rahul Gandhi. Rakesh Pandey said that he wished to contest the Lok Sabha elections and it is the prerogative of the party high command to give the ticket. Though Bittu is sitting MP and has good chances of winnability but being a Hindu face, Pandey may get a chance to contest the Lok Sabha elections. Pandey is also close to the family of business tycoon Rakesh Bharti Mittal who enjoys good relation with the Gandhi family in Delhi and may prove helpful in getting the ticket for Rakesh Pandey.
Party insiders said that in Vidhan Sabha elections, MP Ravneet Singh Bittu had opposed the ticket to Pandey and advocated the name of veteran Congress leader Hemraj Aggarwal. However ticket was given to Pandey at last moment. Due to opposition in the Assembly elections, Pandey has now applied for the Lok Sabha ticket ad become hurdle for sitting MP Ravneet Bittu.Apart from Pandey, Pawan Dewan, a close aide of former Union minister Manish Tewari, had applied for the party ticket from Ludhiana. On Thursday, another aide of Tewari, Gurmail Pehalwan, also applied for the Lok Sabha ticket of the Congress.”
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