INDIA VOTES 2024: SAD undecided on Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur reserved LS seats : The Tribune India

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INDIA VOTES 2024: SAD undecided on Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur reserved LS seats

Akali ex-MLA Tinu likely to be Aam Aadmi Party candidate

INDIA VOTES 2024: SAD undecided on Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur reserved LS seats

Former CM Charanjit Channi with his supporters during the Chetna rally in Jalandhar. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar, April 13

Even as the first list of seven candidates of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was released on Saturday, it did not have the names of party nominees from Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur seats.

The list clearly indicated that the party has not yet decided on the names of Dalit leaders from Doaba, who could contest from these two reserved seats.

The problem for SAD to find a suitable candidate from Hoshiarpur was expected to come as the seat was in the kitty of the BJP for the past nearly five terms. The party is seemingly in trouble from Jalandhar seat too.

SAD leader Pawan Tinu with his supporters. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Charanjit Atwal, who was the party candidate in 2019, had joined the BJP last year and his son Inder Iqbal Atwal had contested as Lok Sabha bypoll candidate for the saffron party last year. In 2014, Pawan Tinu had contested the Jalandhar LS seat for SAD, but had trailed with 70K votes from then Congress winner Santokh Singh Chaudhary.

However, Tinu is unlikely to be the candidate this time as he is reportedly not willing to contest from the SAD seat. Reports are that he could join Aam Aadmi Party in the next few days and be projected as its candidate. AAP had fielded sitting Lok Sabha MP Sushil Rinku, but he quit the party to join the BJP and become its candidate.

BJP MP candidate Sushil Rinku with security guards during the Chetna rally. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Asked about his joining the AAP, Tinu neither confirmed nor denied the report. Instead, he chose to say that everyone would get to know his plans in the next few days. He said this to mediapersons during the Chetna Rally held a day ahead of Dr BR Ambedkar Jayanti.

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann has already said that he would announce Jalandhar candidate on April 16. He is currently in Assam to campaign for the party.

Meanwhile, SAD has also lost its 2009 candidate Hans Raj Hans, who was BJP MP from a Delhi seat in 2019 and is currently a candidate from Faridkot reserved seat for the saffron party.

As of date, SAD is left with few Dalit leaders and none of them is interested to contest as they know that the party is not in a position to win with little scope of getting votes from the four urban Assembly segments.

The party has not been able to nurture good leaders from the city areas and most of its councillors have already left the party to join either AAP or BJP. Among the probables are Dr Sukhwinder Sukhi, sitting Banga MLA who was also the 2023 bypoll candidate from Jalandhar, Baldev Khaira, former Phillaur MLA and Sarwan S Phillaur, former minister who recently joined the party.

Channi goes to dera, meets leaders

Congress frontrunner from Jalandhar Charanjit Channi spent the entire day in the LS constituency on Saturday. He reached Dera Sachkhand Ballan around 2 pm to attend the Baisakhi event. Along with party leaders, including Adampur MLA Sukhwinder Kotli and Kartarpur halqa in charge Rajinder Singh, he met dera chief Sant Niranjan Dass. Then, he started for the residence of Nakodar halqa in charge Dr Navjot Dahiya, where he held a meeting. He then attended a Chetna rally and met Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Pargat Singh at his residence in Mithapur in the evening.

Candidates, probables attend Chetna rally

Candidates and probables of all parties for the forthcoming Lok Sabha seat from here attended a Chetna rally held in the city, a day ahead of birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar. Among those who were seen attending the event were former CM Charanjit Channi, who is the frontrunner for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha ticket, BJP candidate Sushil Rinku, BSP candidate Balwinder Kumar and likely AAP candidate Pawan Tinu (currently SAD leader).

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#Aam Aadmi Party AAP #Hoshiarpur #Shiromani Akali Dal

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