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Manmohan Singh not likely to contest polls from Amritsar despite Congress’ request

New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh is not willing to contest Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar, sources said.

Despite a request from Congress, Singh, who has a massive fan following in Punjab has cited age and health concerns for not contesting polls.

 

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, state party chief Sunil Jakhar and general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari made a fervent request to Manmohan Singh, at his residence in New Delhi on Sunday at 5 pm.

According to sources, while urging Singh, the Congress delegation told him that he would just need to come to Amritsar to fill all nomination papers and the CM Captain Amarinder Singh would personally look after his campaign.

However, the 86-year-old has not responded with alacrity to the request.

This is not the first time when the two-time prime minister has been offered the Amritsar constituency, in 2009 general elections Singh refused to contest from Amritsar (home to the holiest Sikh shrine Golden Temple) on the health grounds.

Manmohan Singh is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam and would finish his term in June this year. According to sources the party does not want him to retire.

Punjab screening committee is likely to delay the release of names of candidates and may put it up in April.

The elections in Punjab is scheduled for May 19.

Congress workers are optimistic about Singh’s nod since he had a lot of time to think about his decision.