After much deliberation, the Congress on Thursday decided to field former Union minister Manish Tewari from Anandpur Sahib seat in Punjab. In Haryana, Rajya Sabha MP and former union minister Kumari Selja will fight the election from Ambala seat.
Tewari had lost out in the race for the Chandigarh seat to his former Cabinet colleague Pawan Kumar Bansal. The decision to field Tewari from Anandpur Sahib seat and Kewal Dhillon from the Sangrur seat was taken by the party’s Central Election Committee.
The decision was firmed up during the day itself at a meeting Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had with senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
The party is yet to finalise its candidates in the remaining two seats of Ferozpur and Batinda. With the Shiromani Akali Dal signaling that former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal could contest from either Bathinda or Ferozpur, the Congress is waiting for the SAD move to pick its nominees.
The Congress CEC has also cleared the names of candidates in four seats in Haryana — former MP Shruti Choudhry from Bhiwani-Mahendragarh, Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar from Sirsa, MP Deepender Hooda from Rohtak and Selja from Ambala.
Most political dynasts from the state are in line for tickets, including former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda himself from Sonepat seat. While senior leader Kuldeep Bishnoi is eyeing Hisar seat for his son Bhavya, former Assembly speaker Kuldeep Sharma is vying for Karnal seat – either for him or for his son Chanakya Pandit, said sources.
In Kurukshetra, former MP Naveen Jindal will be the Congress candidate in all likelihood. Another former minister, Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, is seeking a ticket from Gurugram – either for himself or son Chiranjeev Rao, national secretary of the Indian Youth Congress.