My Candidature in Amritsar

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Navjot Singh Sidhu leave chandigarh seat{Arun Jaitley**}
I am extremely grateful to the BJP for declaring me as its candidate to contest the Amritsar Parliamentary Lok Sabha constituency.

I became a political activist at a very young age in 1970. I was associated with the ABVP. I successfully contested elections in my college and then in the University of Delhi. The defining moment in my life was the JP movement against corruption and the declaration of Emergency. I offered Satyagraha against Emergency on day one and spent the next nineteen months under preventive detention. It was during this period that my ideological moorings got strengthened. 

I have been a member of the BJP from the day it was formed in 1980. I evolved from the ABVP to the BJP in that year. I had no desire of becoming a full time political activist. In 1977 I started my Law practice and by 1990 I was designated Senior Advocate. As my professional involvement grew so did my activism in the BJP. I had assumed that I would be an activist and a lawyer but I did not visualize myself as a full time politician. Since 1980 I was involved in the management of the political campaigns of the BJP. I was a Member of its National Executive and one of its national spokesmen. In 1999 I was requested by my leaders Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Shri Advani ji to join the NDA Government as a minister. I was not even an MP at that time. I joined the Government and within the requisite six months I was a Member of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. Since then I have been in Parliament. Whether as a Minister, a Party General Secretary or as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha I was always expected to assist the Party in selection campaigns. Since I used to be in the business of organizing elections I never got a chance to contest one. 

The party has this time nominated me to be its candidate from Amritsar, a city which I have loved. Amritsar is one of the most important pilgrim centres in India. It is a city with a cultural personality of its own. It was also the hub of trading activity in North India. My personal affinity to the city is because I have been visiting it since my childhood. My mother belonged to Amritsar. She was born there and she grew up in Amritsar. My sister was born there. My wife who belongs to Jammu & Kashmir, was born in Amritsar because the city had better medical facilities. I have been visiting the city since my childhood since it was my grand parents home. I have been regularly in Amritsar for all important political campaigns. My ties with the city are strengthened because of my fondness for good food. The food in Amritsar is the most delightful one that you get anywhere. I have been flooded with greetings from friends, party members and my relatives to live in Amritsar. I am looking forward for a long stay in the city.

 I must express my gratitude and thanks to my friend Navjot Singh Sidhu for helping me to make up my mind. Navjot and my relationship is much more than political. I could not have imagined replacing him. For the last few days he started insisting that I should go to Amritsar to contest elections. I kept requesting him to contest from Amritsar or any other constituencies including Kurukshetra and West Delhi. The party president reiterated this request. Gracious as he is he made it clear that he was not looking for any personal or political position or gains. His grace and dignity reflected the behavior which is a lesson for many of us in politics. In cricket he was an established batsman. This time he has bowled me over.

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arun-jaitley-invc1**Arun Jaitley Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha )
*Disclaimer: The writer is  Leader of Opposition Rajya Sabha  and the views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INVC.

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