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In Ludhiana, Congress state chief Raja Warring vs ‘traitor’ Ravneet Bittu

Main kaun hu… bahut se log jaante hain aur bahut se nahin jaante honge kyunki Ludhiana se main pehli baar chunaav ladh raha hoon (Who am I? Many might know, many others may not as it is the first time I am contesting an election from Ludhiana),” Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring aptly sums up his upcoming battle for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat as he introduces himself to a group of morning walkers in the city’s upscale Civil Lines area.

Warring will be up against his former party colleague and sitting Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, now in the BJP, who has termed the state Congress chief an “outsider”. Bittu also enjoys political pedigree in Punjab, being the grandson of slain former Congress CM Beant Singh.

If Warring is facing an uphill task against his “outsider” tag, Bittu is trying to convince voters to support him despite shift to the BJP. The Ludhiana seat, which votes on June 1 with the rest of the 12 constituencies in Punjab, has been won by the Congress in the last three elections – Manish Tewari (2009) and Bittu (2014 and 2019).

Rubbishing the BJP’s claims of Warring being an “outsider”, former Congress MLA Surinder Dawar says: “Being the Punjab Congress chief, Warring can contest from anywhere in the state. If Rahul Gandhi can contest from Wayanad and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi from Varanasi, why not Warring from Ludhiana?”

Warring and his wife Amrita tell voters that they are not “seasonal birds” and will stay on to address people’s issues even after the election.

Warring is also telling voters how his parents died when he was just a child, and was “a self-made man”. “He is criss-crossing the constituency and is making night halts at various leaders’ houses,” a Congress leader says.


Read more on indianexpress.com