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Channi stays away from virtual meet, Cong postpones second list second time in a row

With this, the Congress will not be able to announce candidates for all 117 constituencies even as filing of nominations starts on Tuesday. Sources said the CEC was told that Channi was not able to log in as he was stuck due to bad weather.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 25, 2022 4:02:25 pm
Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. (File)

With Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi staying away from the virtual meeting of Central Election Committee (CEC), the meeting postponed its second list for now as there has been no consensus on about 20 tickets out of a total of 31 yet to be announced by the party.

With this, the Congress will not be able to announce candidates for all 117 constituencies even as filing of nominations starts on Tuesday. Sources said the CEC was told that Channi was not able to log in as he was stuck due to bad weather.

The CEC then formed a four-member subcommittee comprising AICC general Secretary (organisational) KC Venugopal, veteran leader Ambika Soni, chief of screening committee Ajay Maken and AICC incharge Harish Chaudhary.

The committee has been asked to speak to Channi and take his views on the remaining seats. The CEC will not meet again now, sources said. The list would be out without going to the CEC again.

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While the party has decided to drop sitting MLA Tarsem Singh DC from Attari (SC) segment and Satkar Kaur from Ferozepur (rural), there has been no consensus on other MLAs, whose tickets have not been announced yet. The party has decided to field AAP-turned-Congress leader Ashu Bangar from Ferozepur (rural). He was given the ticket by AAP but joined Congress a few days ago.

Bhoa and Khemkaran having Joginder Pal and Sukhpal Singh Bhullar as sitting MLAs, respectively, are also stuck with Channi and former PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar locking their horns over the candidature, Channi will take a final call now as the list will be outed after his word to the subcommittee.

Sources said there has been no decision of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal’s pocket-borough Jalalabad as the sitting MLA, Raminder Awla, wants to shift to Guru Harsahai from there. PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is, however, learnt to be adamant that no sitting MLA will be allowed to swap places. However, SC MLAs may be allowed to swap places, sources said. The party wants to shift Gill MLA Kuldip Singh Vaid to Jagraon.

There is no consensus on Patiala (urban) seat yet. While the party had earlier taken former Patiala Mayor Vishnu Sharma in party fold and was contemplating fielding him against former CM Amarinder Singh, senior leader Lal Singh has also thrown his hat in the ring for a contest. While Lal Singh’s son and sitting MLA, Rajinder Singh, has already been renominated from Samana, it remains to be seen whether the party decides to give two tickets in a family or not.
The meeting also discussed that Jalalabad having 75 per cent SCs, should be contested by Channi, but it is unlikely that he would contest from two places. Channi is already contesting from Chamkaur Sahib.

In Shutrana, sitting MLA Nirmal Singh Shutrana wants his son to contest from there. Similarly, sitting MLA from Amargarh Surjit Singh Dhiman wants the ticket to either go to his son or to his nephew but he would like either of them to contest from Sunam. There is no decision on this seat yet. PPCC chief has also staked a claim on Amargarh for his aide Smit Singh.

There is no consensus on Nawanshahar, having Angad Singh as sitting MLA. Former MLA Karan Brar may get the ticket from Muktsar. In Sardulgarh, the party wants to field former MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar but he wants his son, Bikram Mofar, to contest.

The 31 seats for which candidates have not been declared yet are: Attari, Ferozepur (rural), Gill, Shutrana, Fazilka, Jalalabad, Amargarh, Khemkaran, Bhoa, Samrala, Nawanshahar , Khadoor Sahib , Patiala, Batala, Banga, Kharar, Sahnewal, Jagraon, Guru Harsahai, Dera Bassi, Dirba, Sunam, Bhadaur, Barnala , Mehal Kalan, Muktsar, Nakodar, Ludhiana South, Kotkapura, Jaitu and Sardulgarh.

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