The Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) of Bains brothers, both MLAs, announced candidates from four seats Saturday. In alliance with Aam Aadmi Party, the LIP will be contesting six seats in the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls. On expected lines, the brother-duo will be contesting from their respective seats in Ludhiana. They had defeated SAD stalwarts from their seats with huge margins in the 2012 polls. Simarjeet Singh Bains will contest polls from Atam Nagar of Ludhiana where he had defeated former jails minister Hira Singh Gabria of SAD in 2012. Now, he will be facing SAD’s Gurmeet Singh Kular, an industrialist.
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Balwinder Singh Bains will contest from his constituency of Ludhiana South, where he had defeated former Ludhiana Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura in 2012. SAD has fielded Gabria from Ludhiana South again. For Amargarh seat of Sangrur, the brothers have picked professor Jaswant Singh Gajjan Majra, from village Gajjan Majra of Amargarh. Gajjan Majra owns a college and three schools in district Sangrur, apart from having a family business of cattle feed.
With his family earlier associated with Akalis and close to family of Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Jaswant Singh got associated with AAP almost two years back. His brother Kulwant Singh was an ex-Akali sarpanch.
A post-graduate in history, he used to teach in his own college. He owns Tara Vivek College and three schools – Pioneer Public School, Tara Convent School and Pioneer Convent School – all in district Sangrur.
Speaking to The Indian Express, he said, “We were Akali supporters since beginning. Two years ago, I started supporting AAP and recently when AAP-LIP struck alliance, I joined Bains brothers because I admired their style of working since they were in Akali Dal.” His family also owns Tara Cattle Feed company dealing in fodder for cattle. The family discontinued Tara Seeds, another firm, a few months back. “I would be contesting polls for first time,” he said.
LIP has picked Randhir Singh Sibia, a local councillor from ward number 1 of Ludhiana, as candidate from Ludhiana North. An Independent councillor, Sibia joined Bains group five years back. He has been booked in multiple FIRs previously. In 2009, when his wife was a councillor, Sibia was arrested by Salem Tabri police for an alleged spat with a Dalit woman who had visited them to get a ration card.
In March 2013, Sibia was again booked after three labourers died following a wall collapse in his building. In July this year, he was booked for hurting religious sentiments following a protest by Hindu organisations. He allegedly used derogatory language commenting on hair of a gaushala (cowshed) employee.
“I would be contesting Assembly polls for first time. It is a fight against corruption and lawlessness created by Akalis,” said Sibia. Congress is yet to announce candidate from Ludhiana North and has kept its five-time MLA Rakesh Pandey still waiting. BJP too is yet to announce candidate from Ludhiana North.
Asked about cases against Sibia, Balwinder Bains said, “Even me and Simar have been booked for 307 (attempt to murder) for protesting against the sand mafia. It doesn’t mean we attempted to murder the CM. It wasn’t Sibia’s fault if a wall collapsed and labourers died. Other cases are political vendetta. Such cases are normal if fight is against the misrule of a ruling party. Government files such cases to snub voice of honest leaders.”