- He says every effort has been made to balance youth with experience
- Not all applicants can be accommodated, the Punjab Chief Minister adds
- The state has just 13 Lok Sabha seats, he says
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today expressed the hope that Congress leaders who were denied party tickets for the parliamentary elections would understand that it is impossible to satisfy 177 aspirants when the state has just 13 Lok Sabha seats. Winnability was the only criterion on which tickets were allotted by the Congress high command, he said, adding that every effort was made to "balance youth with experience".
"Not all applicants can be accommodated. I hope better sense prevails on these leaders, and they work for the success of the party," he said, referring to reports that some disgruntled Congress leaders were planning to revolt. "There are some senior leaders to whom the Congress has given a lot. Now it's time they accept what the party has decided at the national level."
He said that senior Congress leader Mohinder Singh Kaypee was not considered because he had unsuccessfully contested on the party ticket three times, and even his wife ended up losing in a previous election.
The idea of revolting was first suggested by Mr Kaypee at a meeting of party leaders and workers in Chandigarh on Sunday. Besides him, two other party veterans - Shamsher Singh Dullo and Santosh Choudhary - are also sulking over being denied tickets for the Lok Sabha elections.
The Chief Minister had welcomed Aam Aadmi Party leader Chandan Garewal into the Congress fold earlier today.
Punjab will cast its votes on May 19, the seventh phase of the polls. The last date for filing nomination papers is April 29, and the papers will be scrutinised on April 30.
(With inputs from PTI)