Punjab polls: Four of five candidates in Dera Bassi facing criminal cases
According to the affidavits submitted on Saturday, two-time Shiromani Akali Dal MLA NK Sharma is named in four criminal cases
Majority of the candidates in fray from the Dera Bassi constituency for the Punjab assembly elections on February 20 are facing some or the other criminal case.
So far, five candidates have filed their nominations from the constituency, which is among the three seats in Mohali district, Kharar and Mohali being the other two.
And four among them are named in criminal cases, with one even having served jail time.
According to the affidavits submitted on Saturday, two-time Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA NK Sharma is named in four criminal cases.
Even the candidate fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sanjeev Khanna has two FIRs against him, while Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) face in the constituency, Kuljeet Singh Randhawa is facing one case.
Sarabjit Singh, an independent candidate, has served a five-year sentence already, apart from facing trial in three more cases.
Assault, Covid violation charges against sitting SAD MLA
Sitting MLA and real estate baron, NK Sharma, 51, is the owner of the NK Sharma Group, which owns seven commercial and residential projects in various parts of Mohali district, primarily Zirakpur.
His assets have doubled since the previous elections from ₹10.8 crore in 2017 to ₹22.6 crore now.
During this period, he was also booked in four separate FIRs, including an assault case in Chandigarh in March 2021.
In December 2017, he was booked for blocking National Highway-21, along with SAD activists, impeding the movement of inter-state traffic and causing public inconvenience.
Twice amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in July 2020 and November 2021, he was found violating the safety protocols by holding large protests, and was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act.
However, police have not presented a challan in any of the cases.
BJP nominee facing cheating, fraud cases
Similarly, BJP candidate Sanjeev Khanna, 56, is named in two cases of cheating and forgery, one locally and another in Khanna district.
Also a builder, Khanna was booked in these realty-related cases in March and April 2019. In one of them, the Punjab and Haryana high court has put a stay on the proceedings. Khanna, who is contesting the elections for the first time, owns assets worth ₹36 crore.
AAP candidate also accused of violating Covid protocols
In his papers, AAP candidate Kuljeet Singh Randhawa, 60, listed one criminal case with regards to violation of Covid protocols in Chandigarh in October 2020. The case is pending in the UT district courts.
After serving the Congress for nearly three decades, Randhawa had joined the AAP two years back. Currently the president of the Punjab State Panchayat Parishad, he was also a Zila Parishad chairman under the Congress, and president of the Dera Bassi Truck Union for 13 years.
Assault, molestation, kidnapping charges against independent candidate
Sarabjit Singh, 30, who is contesting the elections from Dera Bassi independently, was sentenced to five-year rigorous imprisonment by a Chandigarh court in 2016 for possessing illegal weapons.
Apart from this, he was also booked for assault, kidnapping, extortion and destruction of evidence in 2017.
Two cases were filed against him in 2019, one for outraging religious feelings, and another for molestation, wrongful restraint and theft. All three FIRs are lodged in police stations of Kharar and Zirakpur.
14 candidates file nominations
A total of 14 candidates filed nominations in Mohali district on Saturday. Among them were eight candidates from Kharar, five from Dera Bassi and one from Mohali.
BJP’s Sanjeev Vashisht was the only one to file papers from Mohali constituency.
The Kharar candidates included Anmol Gagan Mann (AAP), Rupinder Kaur (Punjab National Party), Lakhvir Singh (SAD, Amritsar), Amandeep Prajapati (Samaj Adhikar Kalyan Party), and independents Kulbir Singh Bisht, Baljeet Singh Ladi, Sachin Sharma and Manbir Singh.
The candidates filing nominations from Dera Bassi were NK Sharma (SAD), Kuldeep Singh Randhawa (AAP), Sanjeev Khanna (BJP), Yog Raj Sahota (Right to Recall Party) and Sarabjit Singh (independent).