Last Updated: Friday, April 18, 2014, 20:16
Amritsar: Former cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi today threw his weight behind Congress candidate Amarinder Singh contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar against BJP nominee Arun Jaitley.
Bedi, who arrived here along with a group of his supporters, said Amarinder was the best leader to represent Amritsar.
Addressing a press meet here in presence of Amarinder, Bedi said the Congress candidate is the greatest son of the soil and it will be a privilege for the people of Amritsar to be represented by him in Parliament.
"I, as a Punjabi, owe and express my gratitude to him for having agreed to contest from here," he said, adding, "I have come to perform the ardas to the Almighty that may he win and provide the best leadership and representation to the people of Amritsar."
The former captain of the national cricket team was categorical in stating that Jaitley was no match for the charisma of Amarinder, and added Jaitley had only practised boardroom politics while Amarinder had extensive experience lasting for about five decades.
"I remember him being the Chief Minister of Punjab for five years which were best years for the state," he said.
Bedi's associate Ashok Arora, with whom he has formed an NGO, said Jaitley's "record was not at all clean" and said the BJP candidate had messed up the affairs of Delhi District Cricket Association whose working is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Investigation Cell.
"A man who could not efficiently manage a small cricket body has no right to represent the people of a holy and historic city like Amritsar," Arora said.
He said for a long time Jaitley had established monopoly over the DDCA and was winning elections by managing proxy votes. But when the tide started turning against him he opted out and got one of his close associates elected.
Arora asked Jaitley as to why he chose not to contest from Delhi. Referring to Jaitley's claims of being a Punjabi, he asked, "West Delhi constituency is Punjabi dominated, why he did not opt for that constituency?"
It was simply because he did not have the moral courage to face the people of Delhi as they knew him very well and would have exposed him there, he added.
Amarinder asked Jaitley to explain the exponential rise of his wealth between 2006 and 2012 from Rs 26 crore to Rs 158 crore. "I have asked him several times but I am yet to get an answer from him," he added.
First Published: Friday, April 18, 2014, 20:16