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Parties bank on outsiders in Faridkot

Find it difficult to identify winnable local candidates

Parties bank on outsiders in Faridkot


Tribune News Service

Balwant Garg

Faridkot, March 11

In the Faridkot reserved parliamentary constituency comprising Moga, Muktsar and parts of Bathinda district, all major political parties are facing problems in identifying a local candidate for the elections.

The ruling party in the state AAP is zeroing in on Dr Baljit Kaur, the MLA from Malout and Cabinet Minister. Though Baljit is in a denial mode about contesting from Faridkot, insiders in the party say she is being seen as a strong candidate who can win this seat.

Her father Sadhu Singh, a septuagenarian and greenhorn in politics, was an MP from Faridkot in 2014. He paved the way for his daughter Baljit, an ophthalmologist, who contested the election as AAP candidate from the Malout seat and won in the 2022 Assembly elections.

Her denial notwithstanding, insiders say she is the only available choice for the party as a winnable candidate. Though the name of a personal assistant of Sadhu Singh is also making the rounds as AAP candidate for this seat, the party is no mood to take any risk.

As far as SAD is concerned, it was earlier weighing on two names, Gulzar Singh Ranike and Harpreet Singh. Former Cabinet minister Ranike was SAD MLA from Attari Assembly constituency in Amritsar and Harpreet was a former MLA from Malout.

Sources in the party believe that Harpreet is a strong contender from the Faridkot seat, particularly when he reportedly will have to lock horns with Baljit, who defeated him in 2022 elections from Malout. SAD has to rely on an outsider on the Faridkot seat as there is no strong local candidate to give a tough fight on this reserve seat.

After Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa joined hands with SAD, the name of former SAD MP Paramjit Kaur Gulshan is being hinted at for her leaning towards Dhindsa.

Consisting of nine assembly segments — Faridkot, Jaito, Kotkapura, Baghapurana, Moga, Nihal Singh Wala, Dharamkot, Rampura Phul and Muktsar — Faridkot parliamentary seat is also a big challenge for the Congress for choosing a candidate who has the potential to emerge victorious. While the present MP of the party Mohammad Sadique is not much forthcoming to contest election this time, the name of Sukhwinder Singh Danny is making the rounds here.

In 2009, Danny had contested as a Congress candidate on Faridkot seat. He had lost to Gulshan of SAD by a vote margin of 62,042. Danny, son of Sardool Singh, a former Punjab minister, was handpicked by Rahul Gandhi for Faridkot seat in 2009.

In 2014 elections, he was a strong aspirant for the party ticket, but the party had fielded Joginder Singh. Danny had filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate in 2014, but later withdrew from the contest in favour of Joginder. However, the latter lost to Sadhu Singh of AAP.

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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.

#Faridkot #Moga #Muktsar


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