The Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), a constituent of the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA), Saturday named singer Jassi Jasraj as party candidate from Sangrur Lok Sabha seat. Jasraj, whose full name is Jasraj Singh Longia, is a new entrant in the LIP.
“Jassi Jasraj will contest from Sangrur seat in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections,” LIP chief Simarjit Singh Bains announced here following a meeting of the PDA allies at the residence of Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) chief Sukhpal Khaira.
While the AAP has renominated its sitting MP Bhagwant Mann from Sangrur seat, the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal were yet to announce their candidates for the parliamentary constituency.Jasraj had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as an Aam Admi Party from Bathinda and has a history of bitter rivalry with Mann.
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Jasraj had in the past accused Mann of having sabotaged his election campaign in 2014. He had gone on record saying that Mann deliberately did not allow AAP convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to campaign for him in Bathinda.
Those who attended the PDA meeting include Revolutionary Marxist Party of India’s (RMPI) Kulwant Singh and Mangat Ram Pasla; Communist Party of India’s (CPI) Bant Singh Brar, Hardev Arshi and Nirmal Singh; Nava Punjab Party’s Dr Navtej Singh Cheema; Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) Randhir Bainiwal and Rashpal Singh Raju; and MCPI (U)’s Kiranjit Singh Sekhon.
On this occasion, the PDA announced its common minimum programme for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Addressing the media, Khaira said the programme includes fight for the Punjab state’s ownership of waters and control of the head-works through the recognition of riparian principles, for restoration of the status of Punjabi language, Punjabi speaking areas and the capital Chandigarh, struggle for complete waiver of farmers’ and agricultural workers’ loans and get the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission implemented.
The programme also outlines the issue of secularism, Congress misrule of 70 years, corporatisation of the country, farm suicides and drug menace. “It is not a manifesto. It is a statement about the federal structure of the country,” he said.
The PDA constituents, meanwhile, appeared divided on the Prime Ministerial candidate with Khaira saying that regional parties in Punjab have agreed on the name of BSP chief Mayawati. However, the CPI’s Bant Singh Brar was of the opinion that while a Dalit woman as the PM candidate was a welcome move, yet any decision on the issue should be taken only after the elections.
The PDA members also condemned the killing of FDA official Neha Shoree in Kharar Friday. “This is a total and utter failure of Congress government in the state. The government should inform which mafia is responsible for her killing,” said Khaira.
Khaira said that the PDA has already announced candidates for 11 seats and the names for Amritsar and Ludhiana will be announced soon. CPI has staked claim to the Amritsar seat, sources said.