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Cong ‘finalises’ 4 names for Punjab
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 4
The heat of the forthcoming political battle has attracted Punjab Congress leaders in droves to Delhi. The Punjab Bhawan here is “full” with ticket claimants. Today, at least four tickets are more or less finalised while a panel of names has been suggested that the scrutiny committee comprising Janardhan Diwedi, Mohsina Kidwai, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Mohinder Singh Kaypee will prune down to either one name or two names for each seat.

Sources in the Congress said today it was clear that Manish Tewari would be Congress candidate from Ludhiana, Rana Gurjit Singh will contest Khadoor Sahib, Jagmeet Brar from Ferozepore and Preneet Kaur from Patiala.

Since Preneet Kaur and Rana Gurjit Singh are sitting MPs their names had to be on the list. Rana Gurjit is the sitting MP from Jallandhar that has been declared a reserved seat hence he is being shifted to Khadoor Sahib.

Various factions of the Punjab Congress are playing up their claims and projecting “win-ability” of their candidates. Today the Congress high-command, in an apparent bid to stall more claimants, has made it known to the claimants that “sitting MLA’s and sitting Rajya Sabha members will be considered for a ticket only if necessary”.

For other seats, several names are doing the rounds. In case of Bathinda seat, the names of sitting MLA Harminder Singh Jassi and Raninder Singh are being suggested. Jassi is related to the chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda.

However, in case if the Congress would be serious on implementing its line of “no tickets for MLA’s unless necessary”, then several MLAs who are hoping to be in Parliament would be left out.

In case the Rajya Sabha members are kept out then Ambika Soni will not be fielded from Anandpur Sahib while Ashwani Kumar would lose his change on being in the Lok Sabha from Gurdaspur.

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