Know the Ludhiana MLAs and their priorities

Published on Mar 14, 2022 02:12 AM IST

Hindustan Times caught up with the MLAs in Ludhiana to know about their motivation behind joining politics and what changes they envision for the respective constituencies.

AAP candidate Madan Lal Bagga from Ludhiana North constituency with his supporters after result. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
AAP candidate Madan Lal Bagga from Ludhiana North constituency with his supporters after result. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took everyone by surprise as it stormed into the Punjab legislative assembly with a thumping majority. In Ludhiana district too, where there are 14 assembly seats, the AAP put up a stellar show, claiming 13 seats. The sole seat that it lost on went to the Shiromani Akali Dal’s Manpreet Singh Ayali. Barring Jagraon MLA Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, all other AAP legislators will be stepping into the legislative assembly for the first time. Ludhiana South winner Rajinder Pal Kaur Chhina is the first woman to be representing an urban seat in the district. The newly-elected legislators include five who had joined AAP in its early days while eight are turncoat leaders from other parties including Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and Lok Insaaf Party.

Rajinder Pal Kaur Chhina, Ludhiana South MLA (HT Photo)
Rajinder Pal Kaur Chhina, Ludhiana South MLA (HT Photo)

Ludhiana South

Rajinder Pal Kaur Chhina, 56, AAP, Graduate

Among the founder members of AAP in the state, Rajinder Pal Kaur Chhina is the first woman legislator to represent any of the six urban segments of Ludhiana. A former finance manager at a private firm (Bajaj Impact), Chhina was inspired to join politics during the 2011 anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare. She joined AAP in 2012 with a vision to bring a positive change in the society. Having breached the bastion of two-time MLA Balwinder Bains, the elder of Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) chief Simarjit Singh Bains, Chhina says she wants to work for the betterment of the society, especially women and migrants. “Traditional parties have deprived residents of even basic amenities such as potable water and sewerage system. We will deal with these issues on priority and work to upgrade education and health infrastructure.” Chhina has served as the vice-president of AAP’s Mahila wing in Punjab. She could not contest the 2017 assembly elections as AAP had then entered into an alliance with LIP and Ludhiana South seat was allotted to LIP as part of the seat-sharing arrangement.

Madan Lal Bagga, Ludhiana North MLA (HT Photo)
Madan Lal Bagga, Ludhiana North MLA (HT Photo)

Ludhiana North

Madan Lal Bagga, 62, AAP, Under-matric

For Madan Lal Bagga, who has been in active politics since 1982, this will be his first stint in the legislative assembly. His first electoral victory was in 1997 when he contested the civic body elections as an independent. In 2002, he was re-elected as a councillor, this time on a Congress ticket. In 2007, he fought the assembly elections from Ludhiana North, but lost. This prompted his exit from the party and he joined the SAD, which he served for nine years. He was appointed the vice-chairman of trade board and given the rank of state minister. In 2017, he unsuccessfully contested the assembly elections as an independent. Last year, he joined the AAP in July last year. The gamble paid off as riding on the AAP wave, he stormed into the bastion of six-time Congress MLA Rakesh Pandey. “I joined AAP, as unlike other parties, it has a vision. This segment has been deprived of basic amenities for the past 30 years. We will work hard and implement all the guarantees given by Kejriwal.” The son of late Congress leader Chaudhary Ram Dhan, Bagga is an ahrtiya (commission agent) in the wholesale fruit market near Jalandhar bypass and is also into agriculture and dairy business.

Ashok Prashar Pappi, Ludhiana Central MLA
Ashok Prashar Pappi, Ludhiana Central MLA

Ludhiana Central

Ashok Prashar Pappi, 57, AAP, Under matric

Taking the political plunge in 1990, after his cousin and former MLA Sat Pal Prashar was killed by militants in 1989, Ashok Prashar Pappi wants to clean the corrupt system. Having served in the Congress in various capacities for around 32 years, Pappi joined AAP in October last year. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2012 assembly elections from Ludhiana South on a Congress ticket. He joined AAP in 2016 for a few months, only to go back to the Congress fold before the 2017 assembly elections. Having a business of cable networks, Pappi says, “My priority is to work towards cleaning the corrupt system and eradicating the drug menace. Further, we will deal with the chronic problems of the old city area including traffic congestion, parking, poor health and education facilities etc.”

Daljit Singh (Bhola) Grewal, Ludhiana East MLA (HT Photo)
Daljit Singh (Bhola) Grewal, Ludhiana East MLA (HT Photo)

Ludhiana East

Daljit Singh (Bhola) Grewal, 56, AAP, matric pass

A chance entry into politics made him realise he enjoys public service. “In 2007, my relative was contesting the municipal elections. He dropped the idea at the last moment, but I contested as an independent and won. While serving the segment, I realised my true calling was public service,” says Bhola. After being elected a councillor, Bhola had joined the SAD and went on to become a close-aide of former MLA Simarjit Singh Bains, who was also a SAD councillor at the time. In 2012, Bhola unsuccessfully contested the assembly elections as an independent. Fighting on AAP ticket in 2017, he again lost the elections and moved to Congress. He returned to the AAP just before 2022 elections. “I joined AAP as it has a vision for the state. My constituency has been ignored by the traditional parties and people are still facing problems due to clogged sewer lines. We will ensure infrastructure upgrade and development in terms of education, health etc.” Apart from being a builder, Bhola is also into agriculture.

Gurpreet Gogi, Ludhiana West MLA (HT Photo)
Gurpreet Gogi, Ludhiana West MLA (HT Photo)

Ludhiana West

Gurpreet Gogi, 54, AAP, Graduate (BA)

Defeating two-time MLA and former cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Gurpreet Gogi was once a die-hard Congress worker who started his political career out of curiosity in 1996. He joined AAP in January this year, ahead of assembly elections and got elected to legislative assembly in his first attempt. His aim is to eradicate corruption, provide services to residents at their doorstep and establish PGIMER-like health facility in Ludhiana. At the start of his political career, Gogi was elected as the president of Ghumar Mandi shopkeepers association. His wife Dr Sukhchain Bassi got elected as the councillor for the first time in 2002, when the ward was reserved for women candidates. Gogi himself got elected as councillor for the first time in 2007 and got re-elected for two consecutive terms in 2012 and 2018. During this, he got elevated in the party and became district president in 2014. Gogi has been at loggerheads with Ashu since he (Gogi) was allegedly sidelined by Ashu in the race to the mayoral post in 2018. Apart from being a builder, Gogi owns a petrol pump.

Kulwant Singh Sidhu, Atam Nagar MLA
Kulwant Singh Sidhu, Atam Nagar MLA

Atam Nagar

Kulwant Singh Sidhu, 57, AAP, LLB (advocate)

Having breached into the bastion of LIP chief and two-time MLA Simarjit Singh Bains, Kulwant Singh Sidhu, who was once a Congress leader, wants to put an end to the frequent incidents of violence in the segment. Sidhu joined Congress in 1992 after his brother Hardyal Singh got elected as an independent councillor in 1991. Stating that the Congress has lost its way and even failed to fulfil the poll promises of 2017 assembly elections, Sidhu joined AAP in the month of August last year. Owner of marriage palaces and resorts, Sidhu said, “Bains has been promoting violence and hooliganism in the segment, due to which development works were completely ignored. Now, a peaceful environment will prevail here and we will work to develop infrastructure, eradicate the menace of drugs and create job opportunities for youth.”

Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, Jagraon MLA (HT Photo)
Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, Jagraon MLA (HT Photo)

Jagraon

Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, 49, AAP, MA (Economics)

Inspired by the Anna Hazare movement of 2011, Manuke, a former teacher, joined the AAP to root out corruption. This will be her second term as the legislator of Jagraon assembly segment. After the 2017 assembly elections, she became the deputy leader of opposition in the assembly. Apart from looking after the day-to-day affairs of her constituency, Manuke wants to put an end to drug menace and illegal mining, besides coming up with an effective solid waste management technique. She also wants to works towards heritage site preservation, something that, she feels, has been completely ignored by the previous governments. “The ancestral house of freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, ‘Smaad’ (Grave) of Roop Chand Jain etc have been completely ignored by previous government even after representations were submitted by AAP,” said Manuke.

Tarunpreet Singh Sond, Khanna MLA (HT Photo)
Tarunpreet Singh Sond, Khanna MLA (HT Photo)

Khanna

Tarunpreet Singh Sond, 38, AAP, 12th pass

Inspired by the Anna Hazare movement, Tarunpreet Sond became a member of AAP in 2012 and took a plunge into active politics in 2014 after reading ‘Swaraj’, a book by Arvind Kejriwal. Breaching into the bastion of two-time MLA former cabinet minister Gurkirat Kotli, who is the grandson of former chief minister Beant Singh, Sond tasted success in his first attempt. Belonging to a business family, Sond worked at the ground level and climbed the ranks. He also remained in-charge of industry, trade and transport wing and BC wing of Fatehgarh Sahib (Lok Sabha halqa). Sond owns a soap and detergents manufacturing plant. “Khanna, which is the biggest grain market of Asia, has been ignored completely in the past. The menace of drugs, rising pollution, incomplete development works, traffic chaos are taking a toll on the public. We will work to resolve these issues,” he said.

Manwinder Singh Giaspura, Payal MLA (HT Photo)
Manwinder Singh Giaspura, Payal MLA (HT Photo)

Payal

Manwinder Singh Giaspura, 47, AAP, M.A

A whistle-blower of the Hond Chillar village massacre in Haryana, in which 32 Sikhs were killed during 1984 riots, Manwinder Giaspura was working in a multi-national company which asked him to leave as soon as he started pursuing the case. He then set up a cloth manufacturing unit in Giaspura area and continued his fight to bring justice to families of those killed in the massacre. “Fake FIRs were also lodged against me to pressure me, but we got justice in 2018 and the families of those 79 Sikhs were given a compensation of 22.60 crore,” he said. “I contested 2019 Lok Sabha elections on a LIP ticket but lost. I was then attracted to AAP as the party is moving forward with an aim to bring a positive change in the corrupt system,” said Giaspura.

Hakam Singh Thekedar, Raikot MLA (HT Photo)
Hakam Singh Thekedar, Raikot MLA (HT Photo)

Raikot

Hakam Singh Thekedar, 66, AAP, 12th pass

Having remained in politics for over four decades, Hakam Singh Thekedar, once a staunch Congress supporter, switched over to AAP in May last year. He was given the party ticket after sitting AAP MLA from Raikot, Jagtar Singh Jagga Hissowal jumped the ship to join Congress. Thekedar has served as Congress in several capacities, including district’s rural unit vice-president. However the party denied him ticket for twice --in 2012 and 2017. “AAP has a vision for the state, unlike other traditional parties. And I also want to work for the betterment of public. Apart from infrastructure development, we will work to eradicate the menace of drugs and create job opportunities for youth,” said Thekedar.

Jagtar Singh Diyalpura, Samrala
Jagtar Singh Diyalpura, Samrala

Samrala

Jagtar Singh Diyalpura, 41, AAP, Matric pass

Jagtar Singh Diyalpura jumped into politics with an aim to bring a positive change in the system and joined AAP. Even his family members were against this decision initially. Owner of a poultry farm, who is also into mushroom farming, Diyalpura has served as the Kisan wing in-charge of party in the district. He was up against four-time MLA Amrik Singh, who was contesting elections as an independent candidate this time. Also chief of Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM), Balbir Rajewal was contesting from this segment. “To change the system, once has to enter politics. This segment has lagged behind in every aspect and AAP is working to change that,” said Diyalpura.

Hardeep Mundian, Sahnewal MLA
Hardeep Mundian, Sahnewal MLA

Sahnewal

Hardeep Mundian, 46, AAP, Matric pass (10th)

Taking a plunge into politics with an aim to serve the people, Hardeep Singh Mundian breached into the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) bastion and defeated former cabinet minister Sharanjit Dhillon riding on the AAP wave. Once a social worker, Mundian became part of Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) in 2017 and then joined Congress. Impressed by the ideology of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal, Mundian joined the party ahead of the assembly elections. Owner of a hotel and into the trade of building material, Mundian said, “My only aim is to serve the people with transparency and eradicate the menace of corruption and drugs from the society. Also our focus will be on upgrading education and health facilities as promised by Arvind Kejriwal.”

Jiwan Singh Sangowal, Gill MLA (HT Photo)
Jiwan Singh Sangowal, Gill MLA (HT Photo)

Gill

Jiwan Singh Sangowal, 58, AAP, 10th pass+ diploma in type writing

Jiwan Singh Sangowal started working at a young age and supported his family as a daily wage-worker before becoming a deed writer at the mini-secretariat in 1985. Also one of the founder members of AAP in the state, he was drawn to politics during the Anna Hazare movement. He quit his job as deed writer in 2014 and set up a unit to manufacture steel/aluminium door/window frames and worked for the party at ground level. Sangowal then got elevated in the party and unsuccessfully contested the assembly elections in 2017 from the segment. However this time, when he was up against the two former IAS officers Kuldeep Vaid (sitting Congress MLA) and SR Ladhar (BJP), and former SAD MLA Darshan Shivalik, Sangowal won with the biggest margin (57,644 votes) in the district. “My aim is to serve the public with transparency and work for development.”

Manpreet Singh Ayali, Dakha MLA
Manpreet Singh Ayali, Dakha MLA

Dakha

Manpreet Singh Ayali, 47, SAD: 12th pass

The only Shiromani Akali Dal candidate who tasted victory in Ludhiana district, Manpreet Singh Ayali entered into politics following his father Gurcharan Singh’s footsteps. His father remained sarpanch of his village, Ayali Khurd, for 15 years (from 1982 to 1997). Ayali became chairman of zila parishad in 2008 and went on to become MLA from Dakha constituency in 2012. He was also conferred with a national award by former PM Manmohan Singh for his project to treat water through ponds. Former member of state basketball team and coming from an agricultural background, Ayali had a grip over this rural segment, but lost to HS Phoolka in 2017. But he was re-elected in 2019 as the seat went to a bypoll following Phoolka’s resignation. “My only aim is to serve the people of the segment with honesty and transparency. Due to this, people voted for me this time too, even when there was a strong AAP wave in the state.”

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