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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Manish Tewari 'political tourist', will look for new seat in 2029: BJP Chandigarh candidate

Tandon exuded confidence that BJP will secure a hat-trick of wins from the constituency which will go to polls in the seventh phase on June 1.
Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 05:04 IST
Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 05:04 IST

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Chandigarh: BJP leader Sanjay Tandon who is making his Lok Sabha election debut from the Chandigarh parliamentary seat said his opponent and senior Congress leader Manish Tewari is a "political tourist" and will look for a new constituency in 2029 to fight polls from.

Tandon, who has been the Chandigarh BJP President for 10 years, exuded confidence that the party will secure a hat-trick of wins from the constituency which will go to polls in the seventh phase on June 1. "Manish Tewari is a political tourist... In 1991, he went to Kanpur to contest election... even before he reached the constituency people objected and he was sent back to Delhi from the airport itself," Tandon told PTI in an interview.

"Since then he has been behaving like this only. He goes to a constituency, tries to play with the system there. He has been elected twice from two different constituencies. The question that comes to the mind of people in Chandigarh is why did he leave Ludhiana?" he asked.

Tandon, son of six-time MLA and former Chhattisgarh governor Balramji Das Tandon, is a chartered accountant by profession.

He said Tewari was elected from Ludhiana in 2009 and served as the Information and Broadcasting Minister in the Manmohan Singh government but "he did not deliver".

"He ran away (in 2014 polls)... In, 2019 he found a new constituency (Anantpur Sahib), he pledged there that "I don't want to go to Chandigarh"... whatever he said he went back on. Besides being a political tourist, he also goes back on his words," Tandon added.

"He has nothing to promise and nothing to deliver... by now, he must already be thinking about which constituency he will contest from in 2029 elections," the BJP leader said.

The BJP has been criticising the Congress for fielding Tewari from Chandigarh, calling him an "outsider".

At a recent rally in support of Tandon, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityantha had called Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Manish Tewari "udan khatola".

Actress Kiron Kher is the sitting MP from Chandigarh who defeated former Union minister and three-time Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal in 2014. She retained the seat in 2019. "I am confident that the BJP will secure a hat-trick from the constituency," said Tandon, whose tagline for the campaign is "always local, always vocal".

Asked about the opposition's criticisms of Kher's absence from the constituency, Tandon said, "She was away due to ill health and that is the reason she conveyed to the party about her inability to contest elections this time. Barring the period when she faced health issues, she had over 90 per cent attendance in parliament and she actively worked for the people of Chandigarh."

The 60-year-old Tandon also took a dig at the Congress and the AAP for fighting the polls together in Delhi and some other places, and against each other in Punjab. He termed it their dilemma between "kushti" Vs "Dosti". (friendship vs wrestling).

"In Chandigarh, they are fighting elections together and hence praise each other, seek votes for each other but just few kilometres away in Mohali, they are fighting separately and hurl abuses against each other. Which is the correct picture of their stand? What is the dilemma between Kushti and Dosti?" he said.

He said the AAP's emergence as a political party is attributed to it being anti-Congress and its agenda was to uproot the grand old party. "So how can they join hands with the same party now?" A second generation politician who has served the party in various capacities, Tandon said he never questioned the party's decision to assign him any role.

"My father was a freedom fighter, an RSS loyalist, a founding member of the Jan Sangh. I have worked for the party in several roles. People ask me about why I am fighting my debut election after this long...I never questioned the party's decision and as a soldier I performed my duties. I was in Himachal Pradesh working for elections, when I got a call about my candidature and was asked to rush to Chandigarh," he added.

The BJP's manifesto for the Union Territory has emphasised on a range of issues and assured residents of an "aspirational" city. It has promised a pink bus service, golf tourism, "MP dialogue", ensuring appropriate respect for Punjabi language in Chandigarh, and 85 per cent reservation to the youths of city youth for jobs in Chandigarh.

With slogan "Modi ki guarantee, Tandon ki zimmedari (Modi's guarantee is Tandon's responsibility)", the 20-page manifesto released by Tandon earlier this week has focused specifically on issues of women, artists, patients coming to Chandigarh and MP's prominent role in dealing with bureaucrats in the city due to the administrative structure.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Will it be Narendra Modi's 'Viksit Bharat' or Rahul Gandhi's I.N.D.I.A.? As the world's largest democracy votes to choose its future, track live news, in-depth opinions, and analyses only on Deccan Herald.

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Published 30 May 2024, 05:04 IST

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