THE SHIROMANI Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday announced Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu as its candidate from Mohali.
A bureaucrat who earlier served as Mohali deputy commissioner and is currently posted as Punjab Mandi Board secretary, Sidhu is the son-in-law of Akali Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.
“I am thankful to the party for showing confidence in me. I will try my best to win the seat,” Sidhu told Chandigarh Newsline. Asked about some councillors who were vying to get the party ticket, Sidhu said, “I will take all the local leaders along. I do not think there is any dissidence in the local leadership.”
“I met all the local leaders and councillors and they assured me their support. I worked in the district for three years and people do not feel that I am an outsider,” said Sidhu.
Sidhu is former Captain of the Indian Army and joined Punjab Civil Services in 1989. He served as the chief executive officer of Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA). He was Mohali DC between 2013 and 2016.
Sidhu belongs to a well-off farmers’ family in Muktsar district. He did his schooling from Yadvindra Public School, Patiala, and graduated from DAV College, Chandigarh.
Sources said that Sidhu’s name was finalised by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal despite opposition of some councillors who had handed him over a list of five councillors from among 17 party councillors.
Local party leaders said that they would support the party candidate. Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, former Youth Akali Dal president Kiranveer Singh Kang said that he would support the party, irrespective of the candidate. Bubby Badal who was also trying to get the ticket was not available for comment.
Youth Akali Dal leader and councillor Harmanpreet Singh Prince said that he would support Sidhu. Sukhdev Singh Patwari and Kuldeep Kaur Kang, whose names were on the list of five councillors who staked claim for the ticket, did not answer phone calls.
As per the seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP, the SAD will contest on 94 seats out of a total of 117 seats. The SAD has announced candidates on 89 seats. On Monday, the SAD had announced sitting MLA Bibi Jagir Kaur’s son-in-law Yuvraj Bhupinder Singh as party candidate from Bholath, dropping the three-time MLA who is out on bail after a special CBI court in Patiala awarded her five years in jail for conspiring to cause miscarriage of her daughter.
Kaur was convicted of forcible abortion, wrongful confinement and kidnapping. She was acquitted of the charge of murder. Jagir’s daughter Harpreet Kaur died in mysterious circumstances in April 2000 and was cremated the following day without an autopsy or inquest.
Yuvraj Bhupinder Singh is the husband of Jagir Kaur’s younger daughter. Hari Singh, the managing director of Preet Tractors, was announced as a party candidate from Dhuri by the SAD on Monday.