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Soni claims `undercurrent of discontentment` with SAD-BJP rule

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, March 31, 2014 - 21:41

Chandigarh: Former Union minister and Congress candidate from Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha seat Ambika Soni on Monday said there was an "undercurrent of discontentment" with the SAD-BJP government in Punjab, which is leading many people to supporting her party.

"I feel undercurrent of discontent (against the SAD-BJP alliance rule) is resulting in people of various sides extending support to us," Soni, former Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, said after three senior leaders of the SAD-BJP alliance joined Congress here today.

She said the joining of three leaders representing the Gujjar community -- Kewal Krishan Chauhan, Arjun Singh Kansal and Shiv Ram Singh Chauhan -- in Congress would have an impact on the SAD-BJP alliance`s performance in Anandpur Sahib.

On a query, Soni said she was not "nervous" in contesting her maiden Lok Sabha election. "Since the party has reposed faith in me, I would give my best. I did not ask for the nomination," she said, adding that she was getting support from the entire party.

She said it is only in the media that the Congress is a divided house. "We are a family and some members may have differences of opinion, but we are united. In SAD there is no scope for dissension as everything is in the hands of one family (Badal)," she added.

Referring to her party`s claims that a private television channel reportedly owned by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal`s family is telecasting "politically motivated" programmes, Soni said as the I&B Minister she had pressed for digitisation to provide a level playing field.

"Digitisation of satellite television channels was to be an answer to the monopoly of channels and cable operators as viewers would have got a choice of a large number of channels," she said.
Answering a question on the suggestion of Union minister Jairam Ramesh that the older generation of the party must make way out, 71-year-old Soni said, "I always feel that at times of election we should restrain ourselves from making any statement which may generate a controversy."

She said that in principle she felt that there should be a cut-off date for electoral politics but not at the organisational level.

First Published: Monday, March 31, 2014 - 21:41

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