BJP weighing chances of fielding Vijay Sampla as its bypoll candidate : The Tribune India

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BJP weighing chances of fielding Vijay Sampla as its bypoll candidate

Jalandhar West & Chabbewal among prospective constituencies

BJP weighing chances of fielding Vijay Sampla as its bypoll candidate

Former Union Minister of State Vijay Sampla gestures during an interaction with mediapersons in Jalandhar. Malkiat Singh



Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar, June 12

The sudden activity of former BJP state president and former Union Minister of State Vijay Sampla in Chandigarh, Phagwara and Jalandhar area over issues related to the Dalit community has given rise to speculations that his name could be considered as the party candidate for the forthcoming Jalandhar West Assembly bypoll here.

Since it is an urban seat where the BJP has a good hold, the party does not want to miss the chance of adding in a third member in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. It has two MLAs at present, including Jangi Lal Mahajan from Mukerian and former state president Ashwani Sharma from Pathankot. The bypoll is taking place for this seat after Sheetal Angural, who was an AAP MLA, returned to the BJP. Angural is Sampla’s close aide and is unlikely to lodge any protest if the party picks Sampla over him.

For years ahead of becoming Hoshiarpur MP, Sampla had always been keen on contesting from the Jalandhar West Assembly seat but the party had always gone with Bhagat Chunni Lal, who also became a Punjab minister. Ever since, he sold his house in Jalandhar West locality and shifted with his family to Hoshiarpur. Sampla, however, maintains his ancestral house in Sofi Pind falling near Jalandhar Cantonment.

Since Sampla has a bigger aura having served as the Chairman of the National Commission for SCs, state chief of the party, Union MoS and an MP, the party seniors too are considering him favourably as candidate to have a better winnability chance.

Asked about this during his visit to Jalandhar today, Sampla raised both his hands up in reaction and said, “Please spare me this responsibility.” The buzz in the party is also that he could be considered for Chabbewal reserved Assembly seat which too is slated for a bypoll since MLA Dr Raj Kumar Chabbewal left the Congress to become Hoshiarpur MP. But since Chabbewal is a rural seat where the prospects of BJP are low, Sampla may not like to go for that option. He had last contested from Phagwara Assembly seat in 2022 but lost.

In Jalandhar today, he again raised the issue against Punjab Minister Harpal Singh Cheema saying that the Centre had given its complete share in 60:40 ratio to the state as funds for SC Post Matric Scholarship Scheme. He challenged the minister to prove him wrong on the fact that the Centre had released a grant of Rs 172 crore to the state for distribution of the amount as scholarship.

Work on the ground to ensure victory: BJP

Manthri Srinivasulu, BJP general secretary (organisation), Punjab, held a core committee meeting of the party at a hotel on Wednesday evening. He put forth the need for all party leaders and workers to indulge in micromanagement to win the Jalandhar West Assembly seat. He said all leaders, including sitting and former state presidents, office-bearers, former Mayors and former councillors had to work on the ground to ensure victory for the party. Among those who attended the meeting were top two contenders for the ticket – former MLA Sheetal Angural and former MP Sushil Rinku. Others included former CPS KD Bhandari, former Mayor Rakesh Rathour, district chief Sushil Sharma and party leaders, including Ashok Hicky Sareen and Raman Pabbi.

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#BJP #Dalits #Phagwara #Vijay Sampla


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