Lok Sabha polls: Manish Tewari is Congress choice for Chandigarh seat - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha polls: Manish Tewari is Congress choice for Chandigarh seat

By, Chandigarh
Apr 14, 2024 08:32 AM IST

Picked over four-time Chandigarh MP Pawan Kumar Bansal; to take on BJP’s Sanjay Tandon, a Lok Sabha poll debutant, in two-way contest

Two-time member of Parliament from Punjab, 58-year-old Manish Tewari has been entrusted with the Congress ticket to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from Chandigarh for the first time.

“I would like to carry forward the good work done by my predecessors,” said Manish Tewari. (HT Photo)
“I would like to carry forward the good work done by my predecessors,” said Manish Tewari. (HT Photo)

Born in Chandigarh, Tewari was chosen over four-time MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, 75, who was also vying for the ticket.

To be backed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress’ INDIA bloc partner, Tewari has been pitted against BJP’s Sanjay Tandon, a Lok Sabha poll debutant.

Talking to HT from Delhi, Tewari said he would like to thank the senior party leadership, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and party general secretary KC Venugopal, as well as Chandigarh leadership, including Pawan Kumar Bansal and Harmohinder Singh Lucky, and numerous others for giving him the chance to contest from his birthplace, Chandigarh.

“I would like to carry forward the good work done by my predecessors,” he said, while not sharing any further plans for his campaign.

The Chandigarh unit of the Congress had nominated Tewari as one of the three potential candidates from the city, alongside Bansal and city president Harmohinder Singh Lucky.

Tewari had also applied for the ticket from Chandigarh in the previous Lok Sabha polls in 2019, but was nominated from the Anandpur Sahib seat that he won by defeating SAD nominee Prem Singh Chandumajra by a margin of 46,884 votes.

In his maiden entry in the Parliament, Tewari had represented Ludhiana from 2009 to 2014, when he was the only non-Sikh candidate to have won the seat, and was also the Union minister for information and broadcasting in the then UPA government.

In 2014, however, he did not contest the Lok Sabha polls, calling in sick and expressing his unwillingness to contest from Ludhiana.

Congress had then fielded Ravneet Singh Bittu, the grandson of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, who went on to win from Ludhiana both in 2014 and 2019.

Son of professor father, dentist mother

A practising Supreme Court lawyer, Tewari is the son of VN Tewari, a professor at Panjab University, and Amrit Tewari, a dentist who worked as professor and head, oral sciences at PGIMER. His mother had also served Chandigarh as a councillor.

His father, VN Tewari, who was a Rajya Sabha member, was killed by militants in Sector 24 in 1984 while on a morning walk. His maternal grandfather, Sardar Tirath Singh, was a lawyer and a Congress minister in Punjab.

Born on December 8, 1965, Tewari completed the first 10 years of schooling from St John’s High School, Sector 26, and the last two years from Government Senior Model School, Sector 16.

He completed his graduation in Economic honours from DAV College, Sector 10, before enrolling in the department of commerce and business management at Panjab University and pursuing his law degree from the campus law centre at Delhi University.

Having authored four books; in his youth, he served as the president of Congress’ student wing National Students’ Union of India in 1989 and the Youth Congress from 1998 to 2000.

End of the road for Bansal?

Congress’ decision to field Tewari from Chandigarh is likely to be the end of the road for four-time MP and eight-time Congress contestant from Chandigarh Pawan Kumar Bansal, who had lost the previous two polls in 2014 and 2019 to the BJP.

This time, Bansal, along with Tewari, had been campaigning hard in Delhi for the ticket, and had also been very vocal on issues concerning Chandigarh.

Chandigarh Congress president HS Lucky said the party was elated with the decision, as they wanted a fresh face with a clean image. “Our full support is with Manish Tewari as the party has opted for a fresh face from Chandigarh this time,” he said.

Reacting to Tewari’s nomination, AAP leader Prem Garg said AAP was committed to support the Congress candidate in Chandigarh, irrespective of the name.

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