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Posted at: Jan 12, 2017, 4:11 PM; last updated: Jan 13, 2017, 1:59 AM (IST)

Congress fields more kin of top leaders in Punjab

Four ex-Akalis among the 23 candidates announced
Congress fields more kin of top leaders in Punjab
From right to left: Congress leaders Shakeel Ahmad, Partap Singh Bajwa, Charanjit Channi, Capt Amarinder Singh, Ambika Soni and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal at a rally. Tribune file

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12

The Congress on Thursday released another list of 23 candidates for the Punjab Assembly elections banking mostly on old timers and kin of top state leaders.

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Among candidates declared by party’s central election committee are former minister Lal Singh’s son Rajender Singh from Samana; sitting MP Santok Choudhry’s wife Karamjit Kaur from Phillaur reserved segment;  Ludhiana-based hotelier Jassi Khangura’s relative Bhupender Sidhu from Ludhiana South and Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim’s relative Harminder Jassi from Maur.

From Sham Chaurasi though the party declined the claim of ex-Union Minister Santosh Choudhry and her family to field local district president Pawan Adhia as candidate.

From Ludhiana North, sitting MLA Rakesh Pandey managed to defend his seat despite resistance from Congress secretary incharge of Punjab Harish Choudhry. Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh backed five-time MLA Pandey.

Karamjit Karwal, a former Akali, has been named Congress nominee from Atam Nagar, despite reservations from local leaders loyal to ex-Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari. Karwal is alleged to have been involved in an attack on Tewari’s mother in the past.

The announcement has led to local Atam Nagar leaders led by KK Bawa protesting outside Congress headquarters in Delhi.

Harpartap Ajnala will fight from Anjala on Congress ticket while Joginder Singh has been fielded from Bhoa.

Devinder Gubaya, son of Akali MP Sher Singh Gubaya, will be Congress nominee from Fazilka. He joined the Congress a fortnight ago.

Newcomer Rajwinder Bhagike, an ek-Akali and the sitting MLA from Nihalsingh SC seat, has been fielded from this segment. 

Deepender Dhillon, a former Akali who fought against Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh’s wife Preneet Kaur in Patiala Lok Sabha contest, has been named party nominee from Dera Bassi.

With today’s list, the Congress has begun fielding ex-Akalis whose seats it had till now kept pending due to fears of rebellion.


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