Punjab polls: Capt releases 1st list of 22 candidates, to contest from Patiala
Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) supremo Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday released the first list of his party candidates from 22 constituencies for the February 20 assembly polls
Former chief minister and Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) supremo Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday released the first list of his party candidates from 22 constituencies for the February 20 assembly polls, announcing to again contest from his home constituency of Patiala Urban.
The party, which also named former Indian hockey team captain Ajit Pal Singh as its nominee from Nakodar, has been allotted 37 out of the total 117 seats as part of its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt). The line-up announced by the former chief minister includes several former leaders of the Congress, the party Capt Amarinder quit after being removed from the chief minister’s post four months, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in its line-up.
However, contrary to Capt Amarinder’s claims that several sitting MLAs and cabinet ministers would join his party, none came on board or are on the list. Three sitting MLAs Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Fatehjung Bajwa and Harjot Kamal, who have quit the Congress in recent weeks, have all gone into his alliance partner BJP’s fold.
“We have given a good set of candidates with clear focus on winnability while ensuring due representation across regions and various sections of the society,” Capt Amarinder said while releasing the first list of candidates at a virtual press conference. He said discussions are continuing with the BJP for five more seats for the party. As per the present arrangement, the BJP will contest on 67 and SAD (Sanyukt) 13 seats. Of the PLC’s allocation of 37 seats, 26 are in the Malwa region, 7 in Majha and four in Doaba region.
In Malwa, the PLC has fielded Farzana Alam Khan, a former SAD legislator and wife of late DGP Izhar Alam Khan, from Malerkotla. She is the only woman among the candidates. The party’s list includes eight Jat Sikhs, four belong to the SC community and three to the OBC community, while five are Hindu faces. Another candidate from the Malwa region is the current Patiala mayor Sanjeev Sharma, who was the president of District Youth Congress for a number of years. He will contest the Patiala Rural seat.
Kamaldeep Saini, former PPCC secretary and PLC general secretary in-charge (organisation), has been fielded from Kharar, while Jagmohan Sharma, former president of the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana, will contest from Ludhiana East. The Ludhiana South seat will be contested by Satinderpal Singh Tajpuri, the son of a former cooperation minister in the erstwhile SAD government.
Prem Mittal, a former SAD MLA from Mansa and former senior deputy mayor of Ludhiana, has been fielded from Atamnagar, while Damanjeet Singh Mohi, an active Youth Congress functionary and former chairman of Market Committee, Mullanpur, has been named as the PLC candidate from Dakha. Retired PPS officer Mukhtiar Singh has been fielded from Nihalsinghwala.
Other candidates include Ravinder Singh Garewal from Dharamkot, Dr Amarjeet Sharma from Rampura Phul, Raj Nambardar from Bathinda, Sawera Singh from Bathinda Rural, Subedar Bhola Singh Hasanpur from Budhlada and Dharam Singh Fauji from Bhadaur.
Bikramjit Inder Singh Chahal, son of Capt Amarinder Singh’s close associate and advisor BIS Chahal, has been named from Sanaur, Surinder Singh Kherki, former Punjab Congress secretary, will contest from Samana.
In the Majha region, the party has fielded Tejinder Singh Randhawa, former vice-president of DCC Gurdaspur, from Fatehgarh Churrian, while former MLA Harjinder Singh Thekedar will fight from Amritsar South seat. Amandeep Singh, former Punjab Congress spokesperson, has been fielded from Bholath and Satvir Singh Palli Jhikki from Nawanshahr in Doaba.