M A I N   N E W S

Punjab Cong list ready; to be out today
Singla, Dullo dropped; differences continue on six seats
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, January 4
Just hours before the start of nomination process for the Punjab Assembly elections, the Congress high command is ready with the final list of 117 party candidates. The list is likely to be formally released tomorrow, sources maintain.

Among the surprises is the dropping of former Finance Minister Surinder Singla and former Punjab chief Congress Shamsher Dullo. Differences still persist on six seats, including Dera Bassi, Gidderbaha and Samana, they add.

Those who have been left out would be adjusted on some other positions, say top sources within the Congress.

Kith and kin of senior leaders like Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Amarinder Singh, Mohinder Kaypee and Pratap Bajwa have been adjusted.

Vikram Bajwa, son-in-law of Bhattal, will contest from Sahnewal. Kaypees' wife Suman will contest from Jalandhar (west), while Bajwa's wife Charanjit Kaur will contest from Qadian. Raninder Singh, son of Amarinder Singh, has been offered Samana. The young scion of the Patiala royal family, who contested the Bathinda parliamentary seat earlier, has been offered Samana and Patiala (rural). Sonia Gandhi will take a call on this. Maheshinder Singh Badal, a cousin of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, will contest from Lambi against the CM. Amarinder Singh loyalist Arvind Khanna's name has been cleared from Dhuri.

Tej Prakash, a son of assassinated Chief Minister Beant Singh, has opted out while his son Gurkirat Singh Kotli has been allocated Khanna. Shamsher Dullo was keen on Khanna but he could not be adjusted since the seat has been de-reserved, sources say.

Karan Brar, wife of sitting MLA Sunny Brar, will contest from Muktsar. The MLA is suffering from cancer and the family has been a long-time loyalist of the Gandhi family. Sunny Brar is a son of former Chief Minister HS Brar.

Ripjit Brar, a brother of senior Congress man Jagmeet Brar, will contest from Kotkapura while Avtar Brar will contest from Faridkot. Hardayal Kamboj's name has been finalised from Rajpura.

Among the new joinings from the Punjab People's Party, Jagbir Brar may get a seat. However, the final call will be taken by the Congress president. Former DGP and Padam Shree awardee SS Virk was keen on Dasuya, but the Congress retained the seat for former minister Ramesh Chander Dogra.

Sitting MLA Rana KP will contest from Anandpur Sahib, while Ramesh Dutt will contest from Ropar. Avtar Singh Henry will contest from Jalandhar (north). The Jalandhar (central) seat has been given to Raj Kumar. Surinder Singla was a claimant for this seat and so was builder Tejinder Singh Bittu.

Rana Gurmit Sodhi will retain Gur Har Sahai while the party has decided to drop Hans Raj Josan from Jalalabad. The seat will go to a member of the Rai Sikh community. Sukhbir Badal is contesting on a SAD seat from here.

Jassi Khangura has been shifted to Dhaka while Sukhpal Khaira has been retained at Bholath and Ashwani Sekhri will contest from Batala. For the Pathankot seat, the party has opted for Raman Bhalla, a former member of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), turning down claims of former MLA Ashok Sharma and sitting MC president Anil Vij.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |