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Congress all set to field 3 sitting MPs from Punjab

Central election panel meets today

Congress all set to field 3 sitting MPs from Punjab

Former Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi and Punjab Youth Congress chief Mohit Mohindra during a conference in Patiala on Friday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAJESH SACHAR



Tribune News Service

Rajmeet Singh

Chandigarh, April 12

The Congress is all set to field three of its sitting MPs from the state.

The AICC-appointed screening committee that met in Delhi on Friday is learnt to have decided to go with most of the sitting MPs, besides having consensus on the candidates for Patiala, Sangrur, and Jalandhar parliamentary seats. Headed by a senior party leader from Odisha, Bhakta Charan Das, the committee has Punjab affairs in-charge Devendra Yadav, PPCC chief Amrinder Raja Warring and CLP leader Partap Singh Bajwa as its members.

Candidature of patiala leader opposed

  • During the screening committee meeting in Delhi, dissent among senior party leader from Patiala over choosing Dr Dharamvira Gandhi as the candidate from Patiala have reached the party high command. Senior leaders, including former PPCC chief Lal Singh and former MLA Hardyal Kamboj, who are contenders for the seat, are opposing his candidature

Singer’s father Ind nominee?

  • The Congress is reportedly keen that Balkaur Singh, father of Sidhu Moosewala, contests as an Independent from Bathinda. An indication has been given by PPCC chief Amrinder Raja Warring. But Balkaur Singh is yet to speak his mind

In dilemma over Gurdaspur seat

  • The party leadership is in dilemma over fielding former Deputy CM Sukhjinder Randhawa or MLA Barindermeet Pahra from Gurdaspur. In Ludhiana, though former two-time MLA and former Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu remains a strong aspirant, the party could field another prominent Hindu face. The party is waiting for AAP to announce its remaining candidates

After Ludhiana MP Ravneet Bittu shifted to the BJP, the Congress is left with five sitting MPs — Gurjeet Aujla (Amritsar), Jasbir Singh Gill (Khadoor Sahib), Mohammad Sadique (Faridkot), Dr Amar Singh (Fatehgarh Sahib) and Manish Tewari (Anandpur Sahib).

Highly placed sources have said three of the sitting MPs are to be retained. Earlier, the screening committee had sought clarity from the party high command on retaining the MPs. Discussions were also held on changing the seat of one of the MPs, but the approval is awaited from the central election committee that is expected tomorrow evening. At least, seven candidates are likely to be announced in the first go.

Meanwhile, the Congress move to field Dr Dharamvira Gandhi from Patiala has sparked strong protests from senior party leaders. Dr Gandhi is being termed an outsider.

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