Congress flexes muscle with Sukhpal Khaira on Bhagwant Mann’s turf Sangrur : The Tribune India

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Congress flexes muscle with Sukhpal Khaira on Bhagwant Mann’s turf Sangrur

Congress flexes muscle with Sukhpal Khaira on Bhagwant Mann’s turf Sangrur

Sukhpal Singh Khaira



Tribune News Service

Rajmeet Singh

Chandigarh, April 14

In the first list of six candidates announced by the Congress, the party has challenged CM Bhagwant Mann on his home turf Sangrur by fielding its fire brand leader Sukhpal Khaira from the constituency, twice represented by Mann.

Not only Sangrur, the party has again challenged the CM by fielding former CM Charanjit Channi from the Jalandhar seat. “After the CM had said winning Jalandhar and Sangrur was a matter of prestige, we have thrown a strong challange for him”, said CLP leader Partap Singh Bajwa.

Party leaders feel that being a vocal leader and victim of political vendetta by AAP, Sukhpal Khaira, who is the sitting MLA from Bholath, was the best bet against AAP pride.

While adopting a wait-and-watch policy amid lurking danger of poaching by opponents, the party has preferred to field its two sitting MPs, GS Aujla (Amritsar) and Dr Amar Singh (Fatehgarh Sahib)

Despite the opposition from local leaders in Patiala, party leaders said Dr Dharamvira Gandhi was the best bet as, after the exit of Capt Amarinder singh and his wife from the party, there was leadership vaccum in Patiala. Though the Patiala seat has the highest percentage of OBC voters, the party has preferred a Hindu face. Party leaders feel Dr Gandhi induction has improved the perception game of the Congress.

For the crucial seat of Bathinda, the party ignored protest by local leaders to field Jeet Mohinder Sidhu. Being a four-time MLA, Sidhu has vast experience with him.

The six candidates in poll fray

Amar Singh is the vice-president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee in 2014. He was elected as Member of Parliament, Fatehgarh Sahib, in 2019. A former IAS officer, he remained executive director in the FCI, besides holding other positions in Madhya Pradesh and Central Government.

Charanjit Channi remained MLA Chamkaur Sahib from 2012-2022. He remained the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly from December 2015 to November 2016. He was Cabinet minister in the 2017 Congress government and then became the 16th Chief Minister of Punjab in September 2021.

Sukhpal Singh Khaira was MLA, Bholath constituency, in 2007, 2017, 2022. He remained Leader of the Opposition from July 2017-July 2018 from AAP before rejoining the Congress. He is All-India Kisan Congress chairman

Dharamvira Gandhi, a reputed heart surgeon, provides free healthcare to the needy and underprivileged. Has been running his NGO for the past 30 years. He was elected MP, Patiala, in 2014 on AAP ticket but left the party. He resigned from AAP in 2016. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Dharamvira created his own party, Punjab Front, and contested. He came on third position

Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu remained victorious from Talwandi Sabo in 2002, 2007, 2012, 2014 bypoll. In 2002, Sidhu won the Talwandi Sabo seat as an Independent, defeating Congress’s Harminder Singh Jassi while in 2007 and 2012, he won as a Congress candidate. Later, he shifted his loyalties to Akalis and again defeated Jassi with a record margin in 2014. He returned to Congress in 2023

Gurjeet Singh Aujla won the bypoll to the Lok Sabha seat in Amritsar in 2017 and also won the Amritsar seat in 2019 by defeating Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

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#Bhagwant Mann #Congress #Sangrur #Sukhpal Khaira


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