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Bypoll: Parties have just few days to zero in on candidates

High-pitched contest on cards in Jalandhar West

Bypoll: Parties have just few days to zero in on candidates

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar, June 10

Even as it has been just eight days since the Lok Sabha elections were held in the state, the residents of Jalandhar are set to see another high-pitched political battle from its urban reserved Assembly seat — Jalandhar West — on July 10. The process of filing nomination papers is set to start from Friday.

The elections to Jalandhar West were announced as Punjab Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan had accepted the resignation of Aam Aadmi Party MLA Sheetal Angural, who has gone back to the BJP just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The resignation was announced to have been accepted on May 30 after Angural had sought to take back his resignation papers on June 2, a day after LS poll.

5 byelections were expected

  • Even as five bypolls were being expected to be announced in Punjab after the Lok Sabha elections — Chabbewal, Barnala, Dera Baba Nanak, Gidderbaha and Jalandhar West— only that of Jalandhar West has been announced
  • Dr Raj Kumar Chabbewal, AAP MP-elect, is an MLA from reserved Chabbewal Assembly seat of Hoshiarpur. He had left the Congress to be AAP’s LS candidate two months back. But his resignation has not yet been accepted and hence no bypoll announcement yet
  • Likewise, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Sukhjinder Randhawa and Amarinder S Raja Warring are yet to take oath as MPs and hence no bypoll from the other three Assembly seats from where they are sitting MLAs were announced

Leaders of all parties said they were yet to get relieved of the fatigue that had developed ahead of the LS polls when the bypoll got announced. As Angural is learnt to be quite confident of a re-contest this time on the BJP ticket, name of Sunita Rinku, former councillor and wife of former MP Sushil Rinku, is also doing the rounds.

But the fact that Rinku had lost from Jalandhar West segment in 2024 Lok Sabha elections, even from his his own booth and ward of his wife, goes against the couple. Both Angural and Rinku, who have always been bitter enemies, came together just two months back as both as sitting MLA and sitting MP of the AAP, respectively, had resigned to join the saffron party.

Even if AAP has lost its MLA, the party has few choices in hand. The ruling AAP party in the state has Mohinder Bhagat, son of former BJP minister Bhagat Chunni Lal, as its halqa in-charge. Since he represents a sizable Bhagat community, who are followers of Saint Namdev and reside largely in Bhargo Camp locality here, the party may go ahead with his candidature. AAP had recently also roped in Robin Sampla, a distant relative of former BJP state president and Union MoS Vijay Sampla. Chairman of the District Planning Board Amritpal Singh is also learnt to be a contender for the ticket.

The contest is also being seen as the first test for Jalandhar Congress MP Charanjit Singh Channi after he registered a victory from here. The party has started zeroing on its probables. So far, former Deputy Mayor Surinder Kaur remains the front-runner. Of the three urban segments of Jalandhar, the Congress had won with a margin of 1,500 votes from this one. The BJP had won the other two urban segments of Jalandhar.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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