Manmohan Singh Not OK With Congress Offer To Contest From Punjab

The Punjab Congress unit made a "fervent request" to Manmohan Singh, telling him that Punjabis would be delighted if he contested the national election from Amritsar.

Manmohan Singh Not OK With Congress Offer To Contest From Punjab

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been a Rajya Sabha member since 1991.

Highlights

  • Punjab Congress requested Manmohan Singh to contest from Amritsar
  • Manmohan Singh, 86, has "not responded positively" so far, said sources
  • In 2019, he declined request to contest from Amritsar due to ill health
New Delhi:

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in great demand in Punjab but despite a request from Congress leaders in the state, he is unwilling to contest from Amritsar, say sources.

The Punjab Congress unit made a "fervent request" to Manmohan Singh, telling him that Punjabis would be delighted if he contested the national election from Amritsar, home to the holiest Sikh shrine Golden Temple.

But the 86-year-old two-time prime minister has "not responded positively" so far, said sources.

This is not the first time Manmohan Singh has been offered the constituency; in the 2009 national election he declined the request on account of ill health.

In the 2014 election, Finance minister Arun Jaitley contested from Amritsar and lost to Congress's Amarinder Singh a.k.a "Captain", who went on to become Punjab Chief Minister.

Manmohan Singh has been a Rajya Sabha member since 1991 from Assam and his term ends on June 14. He has never won Lok Sabha elections; in 1999, he was the Congress candidate from South Delhi, one of the seven parliamentary seats in the capital, but lost to the BJP's VK Malhotra.

In the coming Rajya Sabha elections in Assam, the Congress does not have enough numbers to seal Manmohan Singh's re-election. The Congress will need the support of parties like the All India United Democratic Front.