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In Phagwara,all parties may turn to former govt officials for Assembly polls

As the assembly elections in the state near,the Phagwara constituency in Kapurthala district could witness an interesting contest as three former government officers may receive the Congress,BJP and PPP tickets for the seat.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
November 18, 2011 3:31:40 am

As the assembly elections in the state near,the Phagwara constituency in Kapurthala district could witness an interesting contest as three former government officers may receive the Congress,BJP and PPP tickets for the seat. According to sources,former bureaucrat who remained as the Jalandhar deputy commissioner,Som Parkash has strong chance of getting the BJP ticket while former superintendent engineer (SE) PWD Mohan Lal Sood and former tehsildar Mulakh Raj may get the Congress and Punjab People’s Party (PPP) tickets respectively.

Phagwara is a reserved constituency and is currently represented by the BJP MLA,Swarna Ram who was among the three BJP ministers dropped from the state cabinet following corruption charges.

In the wake of the incident,BJP had indicated a change of face for this constituency and Som Prakash has stepped up efforts to present his case for the ticket. The former bureaucrat had contested Lok Sabha elections from Hoshiarpur constituency in 2009 but narrowly lost by a couple of 100 votes.

The PPP has also indicated that former tehsildar Mulakh Raj would be its choice of candidate from here,but if the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) aligns with PPP then there could be a change in personnel.

For the Congress ticket,however,there are four contenders including three-time winner and former minister Joginder Singh Mann,former improvement trust chairman Balbir Raja Sodhi,Sohan Lal Banga and engineer Mohan Lal Sood.

The Congress high command is well aware of the rift between Mann and Sodhi after the former managed to wrest Sodhi’s ticket at the last moment for the Phagwara seat during the 2007 polls which reportedly led to his defeat. This time the Congress has been trying to avoid candidates who are involved in any internal infighting.

Sodhi’s role during riots in the region after the Vienna episode is also reportedly under the scanner and former minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh’s support to Sodhi also goes against him.

Sources in the Congress also said Mohan Lal Sood had already started his homework in the constituency over a year ago and has even got the support of Sadhu Samperdaye (Saints community) of the area. During Nokodar Congress rally on November 3,Sood along with the Sadhu Samperdaye had presented his show of strength in front of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President captain Amarinder Singh. Sources add that Sood has support from the Congress’ central leadership.

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