Punjab polls: After Congress fields Sonu Sood's sister from Moga, miffed MLA joins BJP
Congress released its first list of 86 candidates for the Punjab assembly polls today, which revealed that Bollywood actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood's sister Malvika is set to contest the polls from Moga.
Harjot Kamal, Congress MLA from Moga, on Saturday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the grand old party denied him a ticket for the upcoming Punjab assembly elections, fielding Sonu Sood's sister Malvika from the seat instead. Moments after Congress released its first list of 86 candidates for the February 14 polls, Kamal was seen in Chandigarh joining the BJP in the presence of its senior leadership, including Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Slamming the Congress leadership for fielding Malvika Sood Sachar instead of him from Moga, Harjot Kamal said that despite serving the party for 21 years and being the sitting legislator from the constituency, the Congress ignored him and gave Sood the ticket.
“What are her [Malvika Sood's] qualifications?” Kamal was quoted as saying by the PTI news agency. “She is just Sonu Sood's sister.”
The Moga MLA said that it was “below the dignity” of their positions to bring Malvika Sood, who had joined the Congress on January 10, into the party fold.
Kamal then thanked the BJP leadership, including its president JP Nadda and Union minister Shekhawat, for inducting him into the party.
After Sood joined the party earlier this month, the case of infighting had broken out wherein Harjot Kamal said that he would be fighting the elections from Moga with or without a ticket, regardless. Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi had to dial up the miffed MLA to tone things down and promise that he would be suitably adjusted. Even after that, the latter had threatened to fight from Moga as an independent if need be, in case he was not handed the ticket.
Congress released its first list of 86 candidates for the Punjab assembly polls today, where it was seen that Bollywood actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood's sister Malvika is set to contest the polls from Moga. As per the piece of document, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi is set to contest the assembly polls from the Chamkaur Sahib constituency, while the party's state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu will contest from the Amritsar East seat.
The assembly polls in Punjab are scheduled to take place in a single phase on February 14. The votes will be counted on March 10.
In the 2017 Assembly polls, the Congress had won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government after 10 years.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged as the second-largest party with 20 seats, followed by the SAD which managed a victory on 15 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured three seats.
In September last year, the Punjab Congress was embroiled in a crisis that also saw former chief minister Amarinder Singh stepping down from his post. He has now formed his own party Punjab Lok Congress and is set to contest the elections from all 117 seats in alliance with the BJP.