Jaitley runs into rough weather at Amritsar


Jaitley runs into rough weather at Amritsar. Amritsar has sounded the death-knell for the once formidable Congress ever since Operation Blue Star in 1984.

Captain hits BJP poll calculations

Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency has been represented by former cricketer and BJP leader Navjyot Singh Sidhu for three terms. Such has been his hold that he was re-elected with impressive margiuns over his nearest rivals, thanks to the alliance with NDA partner, Akali Dal.

Amritsar has sounded the death-knell for the once formidable Congress ever since Operation Blue Star in 1984.

Unfortunately, Sidhu developed ego issues with the Badal family following which the Akali Dal insisted that BJP change its candidate. Seeing through the veiled threat from the long trusted ally, BJP had no other option but zero in on a winnable alternative. With all roads leading to the doorstep of Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House, the mantle has fallen on him. That he was a Punjabi came in handy although in hindsight Jaitley has been a member of Rajya Sabha for the last 20 years. It is believed that he wanted to win the approval of the people, thereby making him to look towards the Lok Sabha.

No sooner was his name announced, the Congress party went on an overdrive because they had to defeat Jaitley, a key figure in Narendra Modi’s think tank. Sonia Gandhi proposed former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh as the man who could dash the applecart of Jaitley.

Initially, this did not dampen BJP spirits as they felt that Amarinder Singh was his political prime and the Akali Dal had reinforced its commitment to back Jaitley.

However, contrary to their presumptions, Amarinder Singh became hyper-active and started campaigning with renewed energy. The resultant war of words has left the BJP camp worrying.

Meanwhile, Sidhu, who eulogised Jaitley as his guru underwent a change of heart and announced that he would not campaign in Amritsar. This is a sure sign that Jaitley has been pushed to the back-foot.

The election is still far away. But Jaitley must have realised that he fell a victim to the games being engineered by the Congress.

In some seats, the Congress party has decided to field strong candidates to confine some BJP leaders to their constituency. In Jaitley’s case, they wanted to teach the BJP strongman a lesson. Jaitley must be ruing the day he walked into the Congress trap.

The opponents of Jaitley within the BJP are exultant. The problem for Jaitley is that the Akali Dal is itself at the receiving end of the anti-incumbency factor.

The fac t of the matter is that Jaitley will realise that this was one fight that he had never bargained for.

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