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On the AAP’s list for Ludhiana, the party has chosen to go for candidates who are familiar with the area and its volunteers. All of them have been with the party since its inception too.
Ludhiana has 14 constituencies of which tickets have been announced for four seats – Ludhiana West, Payal, Dakha and Sahnewal.
Harjot Singh Bains, chief of the party’s youth wing, at 25, is the youngest to have been nominated. Bains is a founder member of the party, joining it at the age of 23 and was the Punjab convener during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “I maybe one of the youngest party candidate but not the weakest. Youths will be the key in these polls and we will connect with them at every level,” said the law graduate.
This is a seat that one AAP leader touted “most sought-after” particularly with its heavy urban elite voter base.
Ahbaab Grewal, the party’s choice for the seat, returned from England in 2011 and joined AAP the next year. “After my parents passed away when I was a teen, I saw it all. Entangled in multiple property cases, I saw officials taking bribe at every level. Some cases I am fighting today in court are those that were filed even before my birth,” says Grewal. Putting up at Sarabha Nagar in city, he also worked in London from 2008-11.
Currently, he is general secretary of Kisan and Labor Wing AAP. There were reports of some volunteers opposing his name in favour of retired PAU scientist Dr HS Cheema. The volunteers said that they might submit a written objection. Reacting to this, Grewal said, “It is party’s decision to give me ticket. Cheema ji is also a very senior party volunteer who has worked hard since we began but his blessings are with me.”
The party has trusted senior Supreme Court lawyer and party leader HS Phoolka for second time from rural constituency of Dakha. It is also a step to cash in on Phoolka’s lead in Dakha during Lok Sabha 2014 when he got more votes than local MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali. All set to inaugurate his party office in Mullanpur, Phoolka said, “This time, it is not going to be an unsuccessful bet. Support for party has only grown since 2014 and we are going to sweep Dakha again.” It might be Phoolka vs Ayali for second time if SAD MLA retains the ticket.
Gurpreet Singh Lapran (36) is the party candidate from Payal constituency. It is currently held by Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal of SAD. Putting up at village Lapran, Gurpreet Singh used to run a small grocery shop and his father was class four employee in health department. He joined AAP as volunteer in 2013 and is now vice-president of its SC/ST wing. “I never thought of entering politics.
But when AAP activities in our area increased, I joined as volunteer. I am happy that party has rewarded common volunteer,” he said.