POLL 2022: BJP unveils names of 11 Doaba candidates

Saffron party chooses to field old guard over the new ones for key seats in first list

POLL 2022: BJP unveils names of 11 Doaba candidates

BJP workers in a jubilant mood after Manoranjan Kalia got ticket for the Punjab Assembly election. Photo: Malkiat Singh

Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, January 21

The BJP released its first list of 34 candidates for the state here on Friday. In the list, the party declared the names of 11 candidates for 23 seats in the Doaba belt.

In the first list, the BJP has stuck mostly to old guard of the party who had contested from these seats earlier as well. A majority of the candidates announced are from urban segments. In Jalandhar district, the party has declared its stalwart leaders as its candidates who had previously contested from the same seats.

BJP workers in a jubilant mood after Mohinder Bhagat got ticket for the Punjab Assembly election. Photos: Malkiat Singh

The party has fielded Manoranjan Kalia, former cabinet minister, from the Jalandhar Central constituency; former CPS KD Bhandari from the Jalandhar North; and Mahinder Bhagat from the Jalandhar West.

A towering BJP leader from the Jalandhar Central constituency, Kalia is among the most vocal leaders who has been regularly holding PCs, besides canvassing in the area. From the Jalandhar Central, he will be contesting against Congress’s Rajinder Beri. From SAD, Chandan Grewal has been fielded as a candidate from the constituency and from the AAP Raman Arora has been fielded for the seat. From the Jalandhar West, Mahinder Pal Bhagat has been given the ticket. Bhagat is son of former MLA Bhagat Chunni Lal who won the seat in 2012. Like the Jalandhar Central constituency, these three seats represent the urban core of the Jalandhar district.

BJP workers in a jubilant mood after Tikshan Sud got ticket for the Punjab Assembly election. Photo: Malkiat Singh

Notably, the BJP has declared candidates from these very seats first due to a sustained presence of the same leaders and due to the party enjoying a greater popularity among the urban Hindu vote bank. From the Jalandhar West, Bhagat will fight against the Congress’s Sushil Rinku and the AAP candidate Sheetal Angural who quite the BJP just days ago.

From the Jalandhar North, the BJP has fielded KD Bhandari who is among its tallest leaders in the district. While the seat was being eyed by former mayor Rakesh Rathour as a claimant, the BJP has fielded former CPS Krishna Dev Bhandari who has been a visible and vocal presence of the party in the run-up to the 2022 elections.

Bhandari will be contesting against Bawa Henry of the Congress and Dinesh Dhall of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Kapurthala

Former SAD leader Jathedar Ranjit Singh Khojewal has been chosen as the BJP candidate from the high-profile Kapurthala seat. Khojewal has been former chairman of the Market Committee (Kapurthala), member of the PAC committee of the Akali Dal and former office-bearer of the Youth Akali Dal as well.

He had taken strong exception to the Kapurthala seat going to the BSP as part of seat sharing between the SAD and the BSP. Keeping in mind the panthic vote in the region, a Sikh face has been fielded from the BJP in Kapurthala.

A seat which was being eyed by BJP leaders Umesh Dutt Sharda and Sham Sunder Aggrawal, among others. Khojewal had joined the BJP only recently at an event held in Ludhiana a month ago. He will face Congress candidate Rana Gurjeet Singh.

Garhshankar

Miffed over the denial of the ticket, Congress leader Nimisha Mehta, who recently joined the BJP, has been declared as a candidate from the Garhshankar seat. The Congress has declared Amarpreet Singh Lali as party candidate from Garhshankar.

Meanwhile, the BJP has declared Jangi Lal Mahajan as a candidate from Mukerian, Raghunath Rana from Dasuya and Dr Dilbagh Rai from Chabbewal. For two constituencies in Nawanshahr, the BJP has declared Mohan Lal Banga and Ashok Baath as its candidates.

Hoshiarpur

From the district, veteran BJP leader Tikshan Sud has been given the ticket. Sud was in the news last year due to his face off with farmers during the farmers’ agitation. Several farmer leaders had dumped dung outside his doorstep for his statement which had not gone down well with farmers. Tikshan has won the Hoshiarpur Assembly seat twice. He, however, faced defeat in 2012 and 2017. On the other hand, the Congress has fielded cabinet minister Sunder Sham Arora for the seat.

#Doaba

Tribune Shorts


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