Updated: January 23, 2022 9:41:17 pm
Former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s newly floated party Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) will contest 37 seats out of the total 117 in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state. On Sunday, Amarinder announced the names of candidates for 22 segments, including his own candidature from Patiala (Urban).
As part of its alliance with the BJP and SAD (Sanyukt), the PLC will contest in 37 seats, and discussions are underway on five more possible seats for the party, Amarinder said. With the former Congress leader wielding influence in the Malwa belt, 26 of PLC’s seats are from the region. The party is contesting 7 seats in the Majha region and four in the Doaba region at present.
A statement by Amarinder said he had single-handedly proved to be a gamechanger for the Congress in the 2007 polls with his ground-breaking Water Termination Act of 2004 as well as the introduction of BT cotton. More recently, it was his strong and unequivocal support to the agitating farmers over the controversial farm laws that played a major role in the laws being repealed. Amarinder has strong family ties with the region, which used to be part of the erstwhile royal estate of Patiala, the statement added.
Farzana Alam Khan, a former SAD MLA and wife of late DGP Izhar Alam Khan, will contest from Malerkotla in the Malwa region. She will be in the fray against Cabinet Minister Razia Sultana, wife of Amarinder’s friend-turned-foe Mohammad Mustafa.
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Sitting Mayor of Patiala, Sanjeev Bittu Sharma, who was the District Youth Congress president, will contest the Patiala Rural seat against Cabinet Minister Brahm Mohindra’s son, Mohit Mohindra.
Kamaldeep Saini, former PPCC secretary, former chairman of the Cooperative Bank Punjab and general secretary in-charge (org) PLC, has been nominated from Kharar, while Jagmohan Sharma, who was President of the Ludhiana District Congress Committee and is currently PLC district president, has been selected for Ludhiana East. The Ludhiana South seat will be contested by Satinderpal Singh Tajpuri, the son of a former cooperation minister in the erstwhile SAD government.
Prem Mittal, an SAD ex-MLA from Mansa and former senior deputy mayor of Ludhiana, will contest from Atamnagar, while Damanjeet Singh Mohi, an active Youth Congress functionary who has formerly been sarpanch, zila parishad member, and chairman of the Mullanpur Market Committee, will fight from the Dakha seat. He has been fielded against a former close aide of Amarinder, Capt Sandeep Sandhu who had changed camp after Charanjit Singh Channi took over as Chief Minister.
A Dalit face and a retired PPS officer, Mukhtiar Singh has been nominated for the party ticket from the reserved constituency of Nihalsingh Wala. The Dharamkot ticket has gone to Ravinder Singh Garewal, an advocate, agriculturist and businessman. Dr Amarjeet Sharma, a medical practitioner who has been working at the grassroots for over a decade, has been pitched from Rampura Phul.
An established businessman, transporter and agriculturist, Raj Nambardar is a prominent Hindu face from Bathinda and will contest the polls from Bathinda Urban. Incidentally, his father Dev Raj Nambardar also contested from Bathinda in 1985. Bathinda Rural, a reserved constituency, will be contested by Sawera Singh, son of late MLA Makhan Singh, who is currently vice-chairman of Punjab Water Resources Management Corporation.
The PLC candidate from another reserved seat, Budhalada, is Subedar Bhola Singh Hasanpur who served in the Army for 28 years and was unanimously elected sarpanch of his village. Three-time municipal councillor and ex-president of Akali Dal’s SC wing, Dharam Singh Fauji has been selected as the PLC candidate from Bhadaur (SC).
The Sanaur seat will be contested by youth social activist Bikramjit Inder Singh Chahal, son of Amarinder Singh’s close associate and advisor BIS Chahal, while the candidate from Samana will be Surinder Singh Kherki, PPCC secretary.
In the Majha region, Tejinder Singh Randhawa alias Beauty Randhawa, former vice-president of DCC Gurdaspur, will contest from Fatehgarh Churian, while ex-MLA and former chairman of Forests Corporation Harjinder Singh Thekedar will fight in Amritsar South.
The first list of candidates from Doaba region includes former Punjab Congress spokesperson Amandeep Singh alias Gora Gill in Bholath, and former Indian hockey team captain Ajitpal Singh in Nakodar. Satvir Singh Palli Jhikki, who has been selected for Nawanshehar, is chairman of the District Planning Board, Nawanshehar.
Besides Amarinder, who had on Saturday announced his decision to fight from his home constituency of Patiala Urban, there are eight other Jat Sikhs in the first list. Four of the candidates belong to the SC community, three to the OBC community, while five are Hindu faces (three Brahmins and two Aggarwals).
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