4 Arjuna awardees in Punjab poll fray, all from Doaba

4 Arjuna awardees in Punjab poll fray, all from Doaba

(L-R) Ajit Pal Singh, Pargat Singh, Surinder Sodhi and Sajjan S Cheema

Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar, January 25

Four Arjuna awardees from Doaba are among 11 decorated sportsmen trying their luck in the Punjab poll arena this year. Besides four Arjuna awardees, there are five Maharaja Ranjit Singh awardees and two Padma Shri recipients.

In terms of sports discipline, four are hockey players, two cagers, two kabaddi players, one shooter, one cricketer and one handball player. Four of them have been fielded by AAP, three by the Congress, one each by the SAD, BJP, Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) and the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM).

Three-time Olympian Ajit Pal Singh stands tall among them all. He is contesting from Nakodar on the PLC ticket. Like Ajit Pal, hockey Olympians Surinder Sodhi and Pargat Singh are also Arjuna awardees.

A retired IG from the Punjab Police, Sodhi has been fielded by AAP from Jalandhar Cantt against sitting MLA and Sports Minister Pargat Singh. Pargat also represented the country in three Olympics.

He is the only Indian to have donned the Captain’s hat twice in the Olympics. If Ajit Pal was the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent in the 1976 Olympics, Pargat got the same opportunity in 1996. SSM candidate from Jalandhar Cantt Jaswinder Sangha, a farmer by profession, was a hockey player at the university level. All these four hockey players are alumni of Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar.

The fourth Arjuna awardee is former Indian basketball team captain Sajjan S Cheema. He is contesting from Sultanpur Lodhi on the AAP ticket for the second time. Contesting from Ghanaur on AAP ticket is Gurlal Ghanaur, who has been part of the Kabaddi World Cup winning team like Gulzari Moonak, Akali candidate from Dirba.

Other big sportspersons in the poll fray are ex-minister and international shooter Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi as BJP candidate from Ferozepur City and ex-minister and cricketer Navjot S Sidhu from Amritsar East as Congress candidate. Gurdit Sekhon of AAP from Faridkot has been a basketball player. As shared by him, Punjab CM Charanjit S Channi was a handball player at the university level.

#Doaba #Punjabpoll2022

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