SIX FIRST-TIME winners, including five of the Congress, won from Doaba. Of them, three are the sons of sitting and former MLAs. The Doaba region comprises four districts, including Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr, with 23 Assembly seats, including eight reserved. The winners are Baba Henry (37), son of former Congress minister Avtar Henry, from Jalandhar North, Surinder Chaudhary, son of late Congress minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, from Kartarpur (Reserved), Angad Saini, son of sitting Congress MLA Guriqbal Babli from Nawanshahr, Congress’s Pawan Adia from Sham Chaurasi (Reserved), Sushil Rinku from Jalandhar West (Reserved) and AAP’s Jai Kishan from Garh Shankar.
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Bawa Henry got the ticket after a lot of difficulty and even Congress had to cancel the ticket twice from Jalandhar North. First, it was given to Tejinder Bittu, then to former MLA Raj Kumar Gupta and finally to Henry. But, after all this struggle, Baba won by the highest margin of 32,291 votes in Doaba by defeating two-time BJP MLA KD Bhandhari.
Sushil Rinku (39), also defeated sitting minister Bhagat Chuni Lal’s son Mahinder Bhagat by 17,334 votes. Bhagat Chuni Lal was three-time MLA here. Due to his old age, Mahinder was nominated. Though BJP state president Vijay Sampla never wanted Mahinder to be the candidate, Bhagat’s good image helped his son get the ticket.
At Kartarpur, Surinder Chaudhary (60), the son of late Congress minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, also managed to defeat SAD’s Seth Satpal Mal by over 6,000 votes. Mal had switched to SAD from Congress months before the polls.
At Nawanshahr, Congress’s Angad Saini (26) is one of the youngest candidates to make it to Punjab Assembly by defeating his SAD rival by more than 3,000 votes. Angad is the son of sitting Congress MLA, Guriqbal Kaur Babli, who had also applied for ticket but had indicated to the high command that her son should be considered because of her health reasons. Angad’s father Parkash Singh Saini had also been MLA of Nawanshahr during Captain Amarinder Singh’s tenure as CM from 2002 to 2007. Angad’s grandfather Dilbagh Singh, too, had been six-time MLA from here. In Hoshiarpur, two first-timers, including Pawan Adia of Congress from Sham Chausari (Reserved) and Jai Kishan of AAP in Garh Shankar, won.