Raja Warring’s wife on contesting Gidderbaha Assembly bypoll: ‘It is for Congress to decide… I was even ready to fight from Bathinda Lok Sabha seat’

android, raja warring’s wife on contesting gidderbaha assembly bypoll: ‘it is for congress to decide… i was even ready to fight from bathinda lok sabha seat’

There are speculations in the political circles that Amrita Warring, the wife of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, may contest the Assembly byoll from Gidderbaha, the constituency vacated by Warring after he won from Ludhiana in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Despite being dubbed an “outsider” in the prestige battle for Ludhiana, Warring succeeded in defeating the BJP’s Ravneet Singh Bittu, a three-time MP from the seat who defected from the Congress just ahead of the polls.

Amrita, who was at the forefront of Warring’s campaign, speaks to The Indian Express on a range of issues. Excerpts:

Amrinder Singh Raja Warring recently won a high-stakes battle from Ludhiana. How do you look at this now?

We did our best. The BJP had all the agencies working against us — the Election Commission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his entire Cabinet, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. I would not like to say this but our own people were also working against us.

We had not imagined in our wildest dreams that Raja would be fielded from Ludhiana, a constituency away from our turf. But if I look at the past also, we have been fielded in difficult battles.

People told us that it was an end to our political career. We had never asked for Gidderbaha, we wanted Muktsar. Similarly, we never wanted Ludhiana. We did not know that circumstances would force us to come all the way here. We had never imagined that our own man (Ravneet Singh Bittu) would leave at the last minute. It was a huge challenge but we fought well.

You say “your own” people turned against you in Ludhiana. Why?

The party is also like a family unit. Something always keeps going on in a family. There are disagreements even in families ...

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In Ludhiana, some people wanted the ticket. But they were denied it. Such disappointments give birth to negative emotions. Everywhere, when four people are working together, there are disagreements. That does not mean that a family breaks down when there are disagreements.

What is your take on current dissent in the Punjab Congress? Many leaders are voicing concerns. Has it become a fight for the prospective Congress chief ministerial candidate?

The party has just won seven seats out of 13 in Punjab. It has been a great success. Unfortunately, instead of celebrating together, there are voices of dissent. I cannot say if it is about CM’s berth. I do not know. But I know that it will die down.

How does a political couple handle the limelight?

I have always considered Amrita and Raja as a team. I want to work behind the scenes. If people say I am good, then I say the team is good. Our team is good. We do not look at us separately.

Would you like to share how you first met Warring?

We belong to the same city. I met him for the first time in college. It is a long story. We eventually had a 7-lay long wedding ceremonies, followed by a lot of festivity. It was an inter-caste marriage. There was a bit of resistance initially.

Also in Political Pulse | With Priyanka in supportive play and Rahul as pivot, Congress eyes a turnaround, from UP to Parliament

Why didn’t you contest the Lok Sabha election from Bathinda even though there was buzz about it?

This was something to be decided by the party. I was ready. When Raja had contested from Bathinda Lok Sabha last time, people had poured in. They had showered us with such love, although we could not sail through. All the surveys had named me as the best candidate for Bhatinda, but it was the party's decision.

What is your ambition now? Will you jump into politics? Any plans to contest the Gidderbaha bypoll, which is around the corner?

Again, it is for the party to decide.

When did you have your first brush with politics?

I started on the very first day Raja was fielded from Gidderbaha in the 2012 Assembly elections. It was an Akali bastion. We did not have very enthusiastic Congress cadre. When I was doing door-to-door canvassing, I realised I had only 3-4 people with me. Gidderbaha was my nursery. Raja was my foremost teacher and so were people.

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