BJP candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri, on Thursday said he would like to become the voice of the people of city in the the Central Council of Ministers.
“I am in the Central Council of Ministers and I will make this submission before the people of Amritsar that if you want, I can be your voice in the Central Council of Ministers,” he said.
“We are preparing a vision document (for Amritsar). It is related to education, skills, employment etc of the youth,” Puri, who arrived here for the first time after his candidature was announced, told the media here.
On his selection as the party nominee for the Amritsar parliamentary seat, the former Indian Foreign Service officer said that he had no intention of contesting the Lok Sabha polls.
“On the record, I had told (the BJP leadership) that I am a member of the Rajya Sabha, elected from UP (Uttar Pradesh) and I have three more years left. I had said that I have no intention (to contest) and that continued to be my position until very recently,” Puri said.
“But the party took a decision (to field me) and party is supreme. Party is above all of us. All of us abide by the party decision,” said Puri, a former Indian Foreign Service officer.
He, however, said that he will fight the election from this seat for victory.
“On the ‘insider-outsider’ tag, I want to ask, do I look like an outsider from my face? Why am I an outsider? when Rahul Gandhi contests from Amethi does he look like an insider?” Puri said.
The Amritsar seat is currently with the Congress and sitting MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla won it in a by-election in February 2017 by a margin of over 1.97 lakh votes over his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rival.
The BJP’s choice for the 2014 general election for this seat, Arun Jaitley, who is now the Finance Minister, had lost to then Congress candidate Amarinder Singh, who is now Punjab Chief Minister, by a margin of over one lakh votes.
The BJP had won the seat in 2004, 2007 (by-election) and 2009 when cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu was its candidate. Sidhu was denied the BJP ticket in 2014 to accommodate Jaitley, who lost. (Agency)