Ayali was elected as MLA from Dakha on SAD ticket in the 2012 Punjab Assembly elections.
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday announced party general secretary and former MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali as its candidate from Dakha for the upcoming Assembly by-election.
“Sukhbir Singh Badal has announced Manpreet Singh Ayali as SAD-BJP candidate from Dakha assembly constituency for the coming bye-election,” SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema tweeted in the evening. Ayali had lost to Aam Aadmi Party candidate H S Phoolka by a margin of over 4,000 votes in the 2017 Assembly elections. The bypoll was necessitated after the resignation of Phoolka as Dakha MLA.
Ayali was elected as MLA from Dakha on SAD ticket in the 2012 Punjab Assembly elections. SAD spokesperson and party’s senior vice president Daljit Singh Cheema said that Ayali started his political career from his native Ayali Khurd village where he was elected as Sarpanch. In 2008, Ayali became Zila Parishad member on SAD ticket and was subsequently elected as chairman of Ludhiana Zila Parishad unanimously.
Cheema added that during his stint with Zila Parishad, Ayali was honoured with best chairman award by the then prime minister.
Out of the four seats, the SAD the will field candidates in Jalalabad and Dakha, while its ally BJP will contest in the Phagwara and Mukerian seats.
In the SAD, Puran Singh and Prem Valecha are in contention for the ticket for Jalalabad, which is known to be a party bastion. Puran Singh belongs to the Rai Sikh community that holds sway in this assembly segment.
In the BJP, Arunesh Shakar, Jangi Lal Mahajan and Sangarm Singh are said to be in the race for Mukerian. Two top BJP leaders are lobbying for a party ticket for their family members from Phagwara, sources said. However, no nominations were filed on Monday, the first day for submitting the papers for the bypolls, a spokesman for the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, said.