Updated: September 2, 2021 8:46:43 am
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday declared candidates from six more seats, including Maur from where SAD senior vice-president Jagmeet Singh Brar will get a ticket to contest the 2022 Punjab elections.
Brar, who was a senior Congress leader earlier, had joined SAD in April 2019. In 1999, then rivals, Congress candidate Brar had defeated SAD’s Sukhbir Singh Badal from Faridkot parliamentary seat.
Jagmeet Brar hails from Muktsar but has been given a ticket from Maur. From Muktsar, sitting SAD MLA Rozy Barkandi has been announced as the party’s candidate. Other candidates are Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu from Talwandi Sabo, Parambans Bunty Rumana from Faridkot, Suba Singh Badal from Jaitu, and Mantar Singh Brar from Kotkapura.
Sukhbir’s Wednesday announcement of Jagmeet Brar’s name from Maur, however, came as a surprise for many within and outside the party, who were rooting for former SAD minister Sikander Singh Maluka to get the nomination.
Sukhbir had announced Sikander Maluka’s name from Rampura Phul seat on Sunday. However, minutes after the declaration, Sikander had refused to contest from the seat, proposing his son, Gurpreet Singh Maluka’s name from the seat instead, while openly announcing that he wanted to contest from Maur instead.
Talking to The Indian Express, Sikander Maluka however brushed aside rumours of any differences or bad between him and the party and said, “It is okay if the party has announced someone else’s name from Maur. I have already contested five times from the Rampura Phul seat and, hence, this year, I won’t contest at all. As I am not going to contest from Rampura Phul, my son, Gurpreet Singh Maluka, can contest from that seat as he has been working in the area for the past two years while I was mostly busy in Maur. Hence, the person who has worked on the ground in a constituency should ideally contest the polls from there. I hardly went to Rampura Phul constituency in the past two years. ”
He added, “I wanted to contest from Maur. But if the high command has named someone else then it is fine with me. I will do whatever duty they will assign me, but won’t contest from any other seat.”
Incidentally, of the five times that he contested from Rampura Phul, Sikander Maluka has managed to win the seat only twice, serving as the Panchayat Minister in the erstwhile SAD-BJP government in 2012. In 2017 SAD candidate Janmeja Singh Sekhon had been named to contest from Rampura Phul and had lost the seat to AAP’s Jagdev Singh Kamaloo.
Prodded about if the party will be willing to change the candidate from Rampura Phul and name his son because as of now he still was officially the SAD candidate from the area, Sikander Maluka said that something will be worked out.
“I think it can be worked out. I have conveyed my decision already to them [the party high command],” he said.
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