Ludhiana: After hat-trick of losses, SAD bets on loyalist Dhillon - Hindustan Times
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Ludhiana: After hat-trick of losses, SAD bets on loyalist Dhillon

By, Ludhiana
Apr 22, 2024 10:57 PM IST

Ranjit Singh Dhillon, a two-time councillor before contesting assembly elections from the Ludhiana East constituency in 2012, winning against Gurmail Singh Pehalwan of the Congress

After a hat-trick of losses from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has fielded loyalist and former MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon with a hope of ending the drought. The SAD failed to win a seat in the 2009, 2014 and 2019 edition of the general elections. Former cabinet minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon was the last victor on the seat from the SAD. After him, although the SAD tried various leaders,it failed to even give a close fight.

Ranjit Singh Dhillon. (HT File Photo)
Ranjit Singh Dhillon. (HT File Photo)

Ranjit Singh Dhillon, a two-time councillor before contesting assembly elections from the Ludhiana East constituency in 2012, winning against Gurmail Singh Pehalwan of the Congress.

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He had lost to Congress candidate Sanjay Talwar in 2017 assembly elections. The SAD had fielded him again in 2022 from east constituency, with him losing to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Daljit Singh Bhola this time.

He also served as district president of SAD for five years. After Vipan Sood Kaka backstepped from contesting the Lok Sabha polls citing health issues, the party had explored other options and zeroed down on Ranjit.

The Congress has a hold on the Lok Sabha seat, with the grand old party winning the 2009, 2014 and 2019 general elections.

In 2004, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon had defeated Congress’ Manish Tewari with a mere margin of 30,000 votes on his way to the Parliament from the seat. Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president of Lok Bhalai Party (LBP), had also tried his luck and emerged third.

The SAD is going into the polls solo, which is likely to result in a division of votes with the Bharatiya Janata Partty (BJP), which has been a poll partner in the past.

Ravneet Singh Bittu, who recently made the saffron-switch, is the BJP candidate from the seat. The AAP has fielded sitting MLA Ashok Parashar Pappi and the Congress is yet to announce its pick.

In 2019, a SAD-BJP alliance had banked on former minister Maheshinder Singh Singh Grewal, who was placed third. Bittu had on the elections on a Congress mandate and Lok Insaaf Party candidate Simarjeet Singh Bains was the first runner up. Grewal secured 2,99,435 (28.6%) votes.

In the 2014 edition, the SAD-BJP had fielded Manpreet Singh Ayali, who got 2,56,590 (23.3%) votes and stood third. While Congress’ Bittu was the winner, AAP candidate Harvinder Singh Phoolka stood second.

In the 2009 polls, the SAD-BJP alliance had relied on former former MP Gurcharan Singh Galib against Congress’s Manish Tewari, with the latter securing a healthy win.

Dhillon hits out at Bittu

After the announcement of the ticket, Ranjit Singh Dhillon targeted Bittu and said that the latter he did “nothing” for Ludhiana for 10 years. “Bittu remains in a slumber for 10 years. He becomes active only ahead of elections,” he said. He also targeted Pappi and said that the locals would not vote him to power as they know his past very well.

He added that AAP government was an “accidental government” which failed on every front. “The people of Punjab wanted to get rid of them (AAP).” he added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Tarsem Singh Deogan is a senior reporter at Ludhiana. He has 16 years of experience in journalism. He has covered all beats and now focuses on crime reporting.

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