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Amid rebellion fear, Cong bets big on the tried, tested, trusted

PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu will be facing many challenges from opposition and within the party on his own seat, which was represented by his wife before him.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 16, 2022 10:36:02 pm
Channi, SidhuPunjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu will contest from Amritsar East while Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi will contest from Chamkaur Sahib. File (Express File/Rana Simranjit Singh)

Rana Gurjeet Singh, Cabinet Minister

Once considered a close aide of former CM Amarinder Singh, Rana Gurjeet Singh has been a former MP from Jalandhar, and is a two-time MLA from Kapurthala. He was a minister in Amarinder’s Cabinet but was dropped after allegations of conflict of interest in sand mining surfaced against him. He was inducted again in Channi’s Cabinet.

Pargat Singh,
Cabinet minister
Jalandhar (Cantt)

A hockey Olympian-turned minister, Pargat Singh is a two-time MLA. He was earlier with SAD and joined Congress ahead of 2017. He is considered a close aide of PPCC chief Navjot Sidhu.

Sangat Singh Gilzian, Cabinet minister

A three-time MLA, Gilzian was inducted in the Cabinet by Channi. He had been demanding that he represents the Backward Classes in the government and should be given a berth in the Cabinet. He was, however, ignored by Amarinder.

Randeep Singh Nabha, Cabinet Minister

A four-time MLA, twice from Nabha and twice from Amloh, Randeep Nabha was inducted as Cabinet minister by CM Channi. Earlier, he was ignored but is a vociferous leader.

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Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Cabinet Minister

Grandson of former CM late Beant Singh, Kotli had faced trial in the 1994 abduction and molestation of a French tourist. He was acquitted in 1999 after the victim failed to testify against him.

Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Cabinet Minister
Ludhiana (West)

A two-time MLA from Ludhiana, Ashu is considered a close to AICC leader Rahul Gandhi. He started his career as a councillor in 1997 and is considered a prominent Hindu face.

Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Cabinet minister

A former Indian Youth Congress chief, Warring was handpicked by AICC Rahul Gandhi as a young leader. He was inducted by Channi in his Cabinet. He is known for his rivalry with Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal.

Manpreet Singh Badal, Cabinet Minister
Bathinda (urban)

A five-time MLA, Manpreet Badal is the estranged nephew of former CM Parkash Singh Badal. He had joined Congress in 2016 after quitting SAD. He is known as Shashi Tharoor of Punjab Congress.

Razia Sultana, Cabinet Minister

A three-time MLA, Razia Sultana is the only Muslim member of Punjab Assembly. She was earlier considered close to former CM Amarinder Singh but had fallen apart after her husband and a retired IPS officer Mohd Mustafa was ignored and not appointed DGP of the state. The couple is now close to PPCC chief Navjot Sidhu.

Vijay Inder Singla, Cabinet Minister

A former MP, Vijay Inder Singla had contested Assembly elections in 2017 and was inducted in Amarinder’s Cabinet. He is considered close to Rahul Gandhi and Amarinder alike. He is a prominent Hindu face of Congress.

Sunder Sham Arora,

Arora lost his Cabinet berth when Amarinder was ousted. He was considered close to Amarinder and had faced allegations of alleged JCT land scam.

Balbir Singh Sidhu, former Cabinet Minister

Sidhu lost his Cabinet berth when Amarinder had to quit as CM. He was considered a part of Amarinder camp even when a rebellion was taking place against him. He was among the leaders, whom AICC leader Rahul Gandhi had met in Delhi to ensure that he does not join Amarinder. He had earned praise from Amarinder when he was the health minister during the first and second wave of pandemic.

Gurpreet Singh Kangar, former Cabinet Minister
Rampura Phull

A three-time MLA, Kangar also lost his berth after Amarinder’s exit. The party has given him ticket now. He had hit headlines when the government had appointed his son-in-law as Excise Inspector on compassionate grounds.

Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, former Cabinet Minister
Nabha (SC)

A five-time MLA, Dharamsot lost his berth in Cabinet after Amarinder’s exit. He faced allegations after a scam was unearthed in his department related to SC scholarship. The centre had ordered an inquiry into the alleged scam.

Rana Kanwarpal Singh, Speaker of Vidhan Sabha,
Anandpur Sahi
A three-time MLA, Rana Kanwarpal Singh was the Speaker of the incumbent government in the Assembly. He is considered a strong Hindu face of the party.

Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Former chief minister

Bhattal is a former CM. She had lost Lehra seat last elections and was appointed as vice-president of Punjab Planning Board. She had been in the middle of a controversy after the state government had bent rules to ensure that she retains the government’s ministerial bungalow.

Navtej Singh Cheema
Sultanpur Lodhi

Two-time MLA, Cheema was also an aspirant for the Cabinet berth. He is backed by Sidhu lately after Cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh wanted to get his son a ticket from Cheema’s constituency.

BS Dhaliwal

A former IAS officer, who contested by-elections on Congress ticket in 2019 and was elected. He enjoys the support of Sidhu now.

Hardev Singh Laddi

First time MLA, who was elected in a by-election in 2018, Sherowalia is considered close to Rana Gurjit Singh.

Chaudhary Surinder Singh
Kartarpur (SC)

Son of former minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, who was considered close to Amarinder and was also an accused in alleged Ludhiana City Centre scam. Surinder was elected in 2017 for the first time.

Sushil Kumar Rinku
Jalandhar (West)

He is a first timer from Jalandhar.

Rajinder Beri
Jalandhar (Central)

A councillor who rose to become a first time MLA.

Avtar Singh Junior
Jalandhar (north)

A first-time MLA, Avtar junior is the son of a Congress leader and transporter Avtar Henry.

Indu Bala

A first timer, Indu Bala was elected after a by-lection following her legislator husband Rajnish Babbi’s death

Arun Dogra

A first timer, who rose from a councillor to an MLA, Dogra will be contesting for the second time

Pawan Kumar Adya
Sham Chaurasi

He was also elected for the first time in 2017 and is a member of Vidhan Sabha committee for welfare of SCs.

Navjot Singh Sidhu
Amritsar East

PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu will be facing many challenges from opposition and within the party on his own seat, which was represented by his wife before him. Sidhu’s family would be asking for the third term from voters in the constituency that has not seen any drastic change despite the high-profile MLA.

Inderbir Singh Bolaria
Amritsar South

Former friend of Bikram Singh Majithia, sitting MLA Inderbir Singh Bolaria and his father Raminder Singh Bolaria has won the constituency for SAD and Congress since 2007. Inderbir won it for Congress for the first time in 2017. But he couldn’t find many sympathisers in the Congress, and it would be a challenge for him to retain the seat.

Raj Kumar Chabbewal
Chabbewal (SC)

He is a first timer from Chabbewal and is a doctor by profession. He was fielded by Congress during Lok Sabha elections in 2019 but had lost.

Darshan Lal

He is a first-time MLA.

Gurpreet Singh GP
Bassi Pathana

A first timer, GP was challenged by Channi’s brother Dr Manohar Singh who had staked claim on candidature from Bassi Pathana. Sidhu had, however, backed him.

Kuljit Nagra
Fatehgarh Sahib

A two-time MLA, Nagra is also Working President of PPCC. He is the only MLA in Vidhan Sabha who is paying his own income tax. A close confidant of Rahul Gandhi, Nagra’s name was deleted from the Cabinet ministers list at the last minute after Channi took over.

Sanjiv Talwar
Ludhiana (East)

A first time MLA, Talwar has been a councillor in Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and is a grassroots leader.

Surinder Dawar
Ludhiana (Central)

A three-time MLA, Dawar missed a place in the Cabinet of Amarinder as well as Channi.

Rakesh Pandey
Ludhiana (North)

A six-time MLA from Ludhiana, Pandey is a former minister. This time, Amarinder and Channi both ignored him. He hit headlines when his son was given a government job on compassionate grounds. He is the son of slain leader Joginder Pal Pandey, who was killed by terrorists.

Raj Kumar Verka
Amritsar West (SC)

Raj Kumar Verka is one of the most vocal Dalit MLAs in the state. He has won from the constituency twice and is now not in good terms with PPCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu. But his becoming minister in Charanjit Singh Channi’s government has given him hope.

Om Parkash Soni
Amritsar Central

Om Parkash Soni surprised everyone with post of deputy chief minister in Charanjit Singh Channi’s government despite his close association with former CM Captain Amarinder Singh. Known for his election management skills, Soni still looks strong on papers as SAD and BJP vote bank stands divided on his seat.

Lakhbir Singh Lakha
Payal, (SC)

A first-time MLA, Lakha had almost joined AAP before 2017 election, but Amarinder’s team had retained him.

Darshan Singh Brar
Bagha Purana

A three-time MLA, he was a Minister of State in former CM Harcharan Brar’s Cabinet. He was at the forefront in the rebellion against Amarinder and had landed in a row after allegations of abusing a female colleague surfaced against him.

Sukhjit Singh Kaka

First-time MLA, Sukhjit was director of Mortgage Bank Zira in 1995.

MLA Kulbir Singh Zira

A first-time MLA, Zira is the son of late political leader and former minister Inderjit Singh Zira.

Parminder Singh Pinki
Ferozepur (city)
A two-time MLA, Pinki had defeated BJP candidate Sukhpal Singh by a margin of 30,000 votes in 2017 election.

Kushaldeeep Singh Dhillon

A two-time MLA, he has hopped many parties. He was with SAD and was considered a close aide of Parkash Singh Badal. Later, he joined Manpreet Badal’s People’s Party of Punjab only to ditch him later. He then joined Congress under Amarinder Singh and rebelled against him also. Now, he is considered close to Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.

Dalbir Singh Goldy

A first timer, Goldy is a product of students’ politics.

Hardyal Singh Kamboj

A two-time MLA, he was considered close to Patiala MP Preneet Kaur as his segment is a part of her Parliamentary constituency.

Madan Lal Jalalpur

Two-time MLA, Jalalpur was considered close to Preneet, being a part of her constituency. Later, he rebelled against Amarinder and is considered close to Sidhu.

Brinder Singh Dhillon

President of Punjab Youth Congress, Dhillon had contested Assembly elections unsuccessfully last time. He was handpicked by Amarinder then. He is also a product of students’ politics.

Amarpreet Singh Lally

Former President of Punjab Youth Congress, Lally was appointed General Secretary of IYC in 2020.

Kamaljeet Singh Karwal
Atam Nagar

An aide of Atam Nagar MLA Simarjit Singh Bains earlier, Karwal had joined Congress and contested against Bains during 2017 elections but had lost. <

Capt Sandeep Sandhu

Former Political Secretary of Amarinder, Capt Sandhu joined those who revolted against Amarinder. He is now considered close to Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and has been managing CM Channi’s rallies also lately. He had contested by poll from Dakha but lost.

Bhupinder Singh Sahoke

A former SAD leader, Sahoke had joined Congress. He is being fielded for the first time.

Harminder Singh Gill Laddi
Bathinda (rural)

He was fielded by Congress in 2017 also but had lost to AAP.

Kushbaz Singh Jatana
Talwandi Sabo

A former Youth Congress leader, he was fielded by Congress last time also but had lost to AAP.

Dr Manoj Bala Bansal

She is the wife of Congress leader Mangat Rai Bansal. She had lost election from Mansa last time.

Ranbir Kaur Meya
Budhlada candidate

She is a Zila Parishad member and is a new face for Assembly politics.

Harinderpal Singh Mann

He is being backed by Navjot Sidhu and was given a ticket.

Vikram Chaudhary

MP Santokh Chaudhary’s son, who has been a Punjab Youth Congress leader

Sandeep Jakhar

Nephew of former PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar and grandson of former Lok Sabha Speaker late Balram Jakhar, Sandeep will be contesting for the first time.

Sukhwinder Singh Kotli

A former BSP leader who had contested Lok Sabha election from Jalandhar on BSP rockers unsuccessfully, Kotli joined Congress and was named the candidate. He had contested Assembly election from Adampur on BSP ticket.

Sukhpal Khaira

A former MLA from Bholath, Khaira is facing trial in an ED case. He is party’s choice as it does not have any candidate from Bholath. He is known for his rivalry against Rana Gurjit Singh.

Dr Dharambir Agnihotri
Tarn Taran

Sitting MLA Dr Dharambir Agnihotri is the first Hindu legislator from this constituency which remained a stronghold of SAD. Apart from challenge from SAD, Agnihotri is also facing challenge from within Congress as many leaders wanted to replace him.

Harminder Gill

Harminder Gill had defeated heavy weight and sitting minister Adesh Partap Singh Karion in 2017 elections. Gill remained very active on social media and on field in his constituency during his first turn as MLA.

Santokh Singh Bhalaipur
Baba Bakala (reserve)

Sitting MLA managed to get the ticket despite challenges from three-time MLA Ranjit Singh Chhajjalwaddi, whose son Satinder Singh Chhajjalwaddi’s claim for ticket was supported by PPCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Amit Vij

Sitting MLA, Vij couldn’t save his assembly segment from falling into the BJP pocket in 2019 parliament elections in which BJP’s Sunny Deol emerged victorious from Gurdaspur. Pathankot is a Hindu dominated constituency.

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa
Dera Baba Nanak

Deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa won Dera Baba Nanak by just 1,194 votes in 2017 and he is expecting a divide in SAD vote as the party has not given ticket to Sucha Singh Langah or his son Sonu Langah.

Partap Singh Bajwa

Partap Singh Bajwa is running from Qadian seat. He first won the seat, called Kahnuwan then in 1992, lost it in 1997, and won again in 2002 and was inducted into then CM Amarinder Singh’s cabinet. He won Kahnuwan again in 2007 but contested 2009 Lok Sabha election and won from Gurdaspur. His brother Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa lost the by-election to Sewa Singh Sekhwan. Later, after de limitation, His wife Charanjit Kaur contested from Qadian and won the seat in 2012 elections and vacated it for his younger brother Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa in 2017. With Fateh Bajwa already joining the BJP, the contest may see difficult times for both the siblings.

Aruna Choudhary

Hindu dominating reserve constituency Dinanagar is represented by minister Aruna Choudhary. Choudhary is a relative of CM Charanjit Singh Channi.

Tripat Rajinder Bajwa
Fatehgarh Churian

It is an open secret that Cabinet minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Partap Singh Bajwa both had preferred Batala assembly constituency over the ones they got. Tripat Rajinder Bajwa had won Fatehgarh Churian with very little margin in 2017 and it is going to a tough contest for him this time too.

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