Manish Tewari taunts Congress over exclusion from star campaigners list
Congress leader Manish Tewari slammed the party on Saturday, a day after his name was left out of the star campaigners list for the Punjab elections. Tewari, a Member of Parliament from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, said he would have been "pleasantly surprised" had his name appeared in the list. Punjab is set to go to polls later this month.
Why does this story matter?
Tewari posted the comment on Twitter in response to a news report that said he and another senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had been excluded from the campaigners list. Incidentally, both Tewari and Azad were among the 23 Congress leaders who had earlier written a sensational letter to Sonia Gandhi calling for sweeping changes in the party.
Congress released campaigners list on Friday
The Congress had released a list of star campaigners on Friday. It featured the names of 30 leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Manmohan Singh. Leaders Ambika Soni, Bhupinder Hooda, Randeep Surjewala, and Kumari Selja have also been named. Tewari's exclusion from the list raised eyebrows as he is a prominent Hindu face of the Congress in Punjab.
'Reasons are no state secret,' says Tewari
"I would have been pleasantly surprised if it would have been the other way around. The reasons are also no state secret," Tewari tweeted on Saturday. Meanwhile, Abhijeet Mukherjee, a former Congress MP who joined the Trinamool Congress last year, also commented on the issue. "Sad state of affairs in INC Punjab...Such narrow minded steps will never help Congress to win elections!"
Elections in Punjab
Elections in Punjab will be held in a single phase on February 20 and results will be declared on March 10. The Congress is looking to retain power after months of infighting in its state unit that even led to the ouster of former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. The party is expected to announce a Chief Ministerial candidate on Sunday.