WITH THE Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) declaring its candidate from Kharar constituency, the Congress and SAD might bank on party loyalists. While the Congress has shortlisted two names out of the four candidates who applied for the ticket, SAD may look up to Badali family which is holding all the important party posts in the constituency.
Jagmohan Singh Kang of the Congress won the Kharar seat in 2012 elections by defeating senior SAD leader Ujaggar Singh Badali. Kang’s name is again shortlisted by the party high command along with Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, the former officer on special duty (OSD) of Captain Amrinder Singh when he was the chief minister.
“Apart from Kang and Garcha, Harinder Singh Sandhu, a Captain loyalist, and Vijay Kumar Tinku also applied for the ticket. Tinku was later shifted to Ropar and he also applied from there, so he is not in the race. In the scrutiny only two candidates were shortlisted by the party but the final decision will be taken by the high command,” said a party insider.
Both Harinder Sandhu and Garcha are Captain loyalists but Kang has close proximity with senior Congress leader Ambika Soni. He can use his links with her to get the ticket for the third time in a row. Kang had contested from the constituency in 2007 and 2012. In 2007, he lost to Badali but in 2012, he won with over 5,000 votes by defeating the same contestant.
This time, Kang has to face competition from within the party as Garcha has been working in the constituency for the last one year. Garcha claims that she has visited every village in the constituency and talked to all the Congressmen who were leaving the party and joining either AAP or SAD.
Kang was not available for comment.
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SAD may rely on Badali family
The SAD may count on Badali family. However, the party is keeping the cards close to its chest with the party insiders saying that this time a young face can be fielded.
The Badali family holds important party posts in the constituency. Badali is halqa in-charge while his daughter Paramjeet Kaur is Zila Parishad chairperson. Badali’s only disadvantage seems to be his age factor. His daughter could be considered for the ticket but if sources are to be believed in the party, she does not wield the same clout as does Badali.
Gurpartap Singh Padiala, the Youth Akali Dal leader and nephew of Rajbir Singh Padiala, is considering himself as a contender. Padiala’s maternal grandmother had won the elections in 1997 from Kharar constituency and the family was close to the late SAD leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra. Gurpartap’s uncle Rajbir Singh Padiala then persued his political career but he died due to illness and his younger brother Tejbir Singh also died. So the family’s baton was passed to Gurpartap Singh.
Gurpartap was not available for comment but his younger brother Gur Iqbal Singh Padiala said that they were making efforts to get the ticket and they had long started to visit villages in the constituency.