Congress on Friday released a list of another 16 candidates for the upcoming Punjab assembly polls, dropping two of its sitting MLAs and renominating six others and bringing in four fresh faces. The announcement was made after Congress President Sonia Gandhi cleared the names of 16 candidates at a meeting of the Central Election Committee, chaired by her. With this, Congress has announced a total of 77 candidates after it released a list of 61 candidates earlier.
In the second list of 16 candidates, among six sitting MLAs renominated four have been retained in their respective seats while two others have been shifted to other constituencies.
Among the two sitting legislators dropped are Joginder Singh Panjgrain from Jaito and Tarlochan Singh Soodh from Banga constituencies.
In Jaitu (SC) seat, sitting MLA Panjgrain has been replaced with Mohommed Sadique, who was the sitting MLA from Bhadaur (SC) constituency.
Sitting MLA from Banga (SC) Tarlochan Singh Soodh has been replaced by Satnam Singh Kainth, a former MP and a former BSP leader.
The party has moved its sitting MLA Ajaib Singh Bhatti from Bucho Mandi (SC) to Malout (SC) constituency.
Six of the party’s sitting MLAs who got tickets to fight from their respective seats are – Indian Youth Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Warring (Gidderbaha), three-time MLAs Amrik Singh Dhillon (Samrala) and Jagmohan Singh Kang (Kharar), besides Karan Kaur Brar from Muktsar seat.
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh said only credible and winnable candidates have been given the tickets and winnability is the sole criterion for selection.
The list also includes three fresh faces, Darshan Lal Mangepur from Balachaur and Harwinder Singh Laddi (ex-PPP) from Bathinda (Rural) seat, along with Nirmal Singh Nimma, a two-time MLA from BSP, from the Bhadaur Reserve seat.
The two youth candidates nominated by the party are Birenderjit Singh Pahra (Gurdaspur) and Daman Thind Bajwa (Sunam).
Daman and Karan Brar are the two women in this list, taking the total number of women candidates declared so far by the party to eight.
Congress fielded Choudhry Surinder Singh, son of its late leader Choudhry Jagjit Singh from Kartarpur (SC) seat, currently held by Sarwan Singh Phillaur, who recently left SAD to join the Congress.
Other notable inclusions in the second list are Gurwinder Singh Atwal (Bholath – the constituency of SAD’s Bibi Jagir Kaur).