JAMMU, Mar 24: Former District Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Jammu, general secretary Avatar Singh Khalsa, who had been declared as Sikh common candidate from Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat by the `Panthak Morcha’ three days ago, today withdrawn in favour of Congress candidate, Raman Bhalla.
Declaring this at a joint press conference, Raman Bhalla and Panthak Morcha members said that after a series of meetings, both the sides had an agreement and finally decided to withdraw the nomination of Avtar Singh Khalsa and extend support to Congress-NC candidate Raman Bhalla from Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat.
Bhalla said that BJP has caused extensive damage to the secularism and development agenda of Jammu region. This party stood exposed before the people for its U-turns on its core issues. It has failed to come up to the expectations of the people of Jammu. It totally sold out to the PDP and least cared about the aspirations of the Jammu people who gave them massive mandate for the first time in the history.
The Congress would contest elections on the plant of secularism, brotherhood, peace and development. He said BJP created wedge in the society and playing communal card. The people are wise enough, they will reject the designs of the BJP and RSS. He said Congress has the capacity to take along all the people and ensure equitable development in all the regions of the State. He said that Congress is expecting massive support from Sikh community and all those communities who believe in secularism, brotherhood and peace. He hoped that with the support of various Sikh organisations under `Panthak Morcha’, Congress would get further boost.
Avtar Singh Khalsa claimed that he along with other members of the Panthak Morcha would campaign for Mr Bhalla. He avoided to give the reason behind supporting Bhalla but maintained that the decision was taken at the highest level.