Rebel trouble for Congress in Ludhiana: Denied tickets, 3 leaders set to fight as independents - Hindustan Times
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Rebel trouble for Congress in Ludhiana: Denied tickets, 3 leaders set to fight as independents

ByMohit Khanna, Ludhiana
Jan 28, 2022 03:18 AM IST

The party is set to face rebel trouble from Samrala, Sahnewal and Jagraon, with its leaders Amrik Singh Dhillon, Satwinder Kaur Bitti and Malkit Singh Dakha deciding to fight independently from these seats.

The Congress’ second list of 23 candidates seems to have ruffled some feathers within party, with at least three of leaders announcing to fight as independents after being denied a ticket. The party is set to face rebel trouble from Samrala, Sahnewal and Jagraon, with its leaders Amrik Singh Dhillon, Satwinder Kaur Bitti and Malkit Singh Dakha deciding to fight independently from these seats.

One of the rebels has accused chief minister (CM) Charanjit Singh Channi of surrendering a Congress ticket to an AAP turncoat on a seat in Ludhiana. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
One of the rebels has accused chief minister (CM) Charanjit Singh Channi of surrendering a Congress ticket to an AAP turncoat on a seat in Ludhiana. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

4-time MLA overlooked

Dhillon, 79, was the first to express his displeasure at being denied candidature from Samrala. The grand old party has put its faith in Rupinder Singh Raja Gill, a real-estate baron from Khanna, for the Samrala segment, from where Dhillon has won four times.

Gill is the son of former minister late Karam Gill and a relative of Khanna MLA Gurkirat Kotli, grandson of former Punjab chief minister late Beant Singh.

After filing his papers as an independent, Dhillon said, “I had sought a ticket for my grandson Karanvir Singh Dhillon. I expressed my intention to fight the elections, if the party feels so. Raja Gill’s sister is married in Rajasthan, and I strongly believe that Harish Choudhary has played a role in denying me a ticket. But all these issues are now a thing of the past. I have filed my nomination papers as an independent candidate and am all set to fight the elections. I had served the party for 60 years and even been to jail many times. But this time, I have a hunch that the party does not wish to win.”

Will fight with or without party ticket: Bitti

Punjabi singer Satwinder Bitti has also announced that she will contest with or without the ticket from Sahnewal, after the party decided to field Vikram Bajwa, son-in-law of former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

She scoffed at the Congress party’s ‘Ladki hu, lad sakti hu’ slogan in Uttar Pradesh (UP) election. “While the party talks of reserving tickets for women in the UP election, in Punjab, the Congress is promoting patriarchal politics. Here, tickets allotted for women candidates are being given to men,” said Bitti, who had lost the 2017 election by 4,551 votes.

Channi surrendering ticket to AAP turncoat, says Dakha

Meanwhile, former minister Malkit Singh Dakha accused chief minister (CM) Charanjit Singh Channi of playing a role in securing a ticket for AAP turncoat and sitting Raikot MLA Jagtar Singh Jagga Hissowal from the Jagraon reserved seat.

Asking Channi to make public the party’s internal survey report, which purportedly showed Hissowal to be winning, Dakha said, “The party has committed a blunder and surrendered the seat even before fighting the elections. During his tenure as MLA, Hissowal did nothing for the development of Raikot. People of the constituency detest him and giving ticket to such a candidate is a poor decision to say the least.”

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