Fatehgarh Sahib:Candidates of both main political parties, Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress, face revolt in Bassi Pathana reserve assembly segment. Congress candidate is facing revolt from other ticket aspirants but SAD candidate is also facing a revolt due to groupism in the Akalis in the constituency. A triangular contest is in the offing. Candidates of SAD, Congress and AAP are ‘outsiders’ as they hail from other assembly segments.
Carved out of erstwhile Sirhind assembly segment, Bassi Pathana witnessed its first assembly election in 2012. SAD had fielded a former judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice (retd) Nirmal Singh in the last assembly election who defeated Congress nominee Harbans Kaur Dullo, wife of Rajya Sabha member and former PPCC chief Shamsher Singh Dullo.
This time SAD has replaced the sitting MLA Justice (retd) Nirmal Singh with former IAS Darbara Singh Guru, while Congress has opted for a new face in Gurpreet Singh GP and AAP has fielded Santokh Singh Salana. SAD (Amritsar) has given ticket to Dharam Singh Kalaur, BSP opted retired Subedar Mohinder Singh, Apna Punjab Party chose Mandeep Singh Romy. Both Salana who was at that time in SAD (Panch Pardhani) and Kalaur had unsuccessfully contest SGPC election from Bassi Pathana seat in 2011. Salana remained active in BSP and was close to late BSP chief Kanshi Ram. He along with Kanshi Ram’s family had launched struggle against Matawati to free Kanshi Ram from her ‘clutches’. He had unsuccessfully contested SGPC election from Bassi Pathana reserve constituency as SAD Panch Pardhani candidate.
When SAD this time announced the party tickets, Bassi Pathana’s sitting MLA Nirmal Singh was shifted to Chamkaur Sahib constituency and ticket was given to a former bureaucrat Darbara Singh Guru. Guru had last time unsuccessfully contested from Bhadaur assembly segement and this time ticket was not allotted to him from Bhadaur and he was shifted to Bassi Pathana. Justice Nirmal Singh has not had cordial relations with all the factions of Akalis and a group of Akalis are opposing him. After allotment to ticket, Guru first time faced SAD leaders and workers revolt at the time of appointment of Market Committee, Bassi Pathana chairman. The post was lying vacant because of tussle of Akalis as two groups of Akalis wanted to appoint their favourite candidate on the post.
Sources said newly appointed chairman of MC, Bassi Pathana is close to former PWD Minister Randhir Singh Cheema group. A group of Akali leaders who was close to Justice Nirmal Singh even resigned from their posts in protest. They even did not participate in party’s rally in Moga. Before the Sangat Darshan programme of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema tried to pacify them and participate in Sangat Darshan programme. Efforts are being made to pacify all annoyed Akali to ensure victory of Darbara Singh Guru, as per a senior SAD
After declaration of Congress ticket to Gurpreet Singh GP, he had faced opposition of other ticket aspirants Harnek Singh Diwana, Kuldeep Singh Sahota, Rupinder Singh Happy, Ranjit Singh Tarkhan Majra, Harnek Singh Diwana, P S Thabla, Mukesh Dhaliwal.
PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh pacified Kuldeep Sahota and GP himself managed to pacify some candidates but Harnek Singh Diwana (who was close to Capt Amarinder Singh) and Rupinder Singh Happy (who was close to Fatehgarh Sahib MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra) still not started campaigning for GP. As per a senior Congress leader, all Congress leaders will soon start campaigning for GP. GP was earlier in Manpreet Badal led People Party of Punjab and unsuccessfully contested Punjab assembly election in 2012 but later he joined SAD in presence of SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal. Last year, he joined Congress in presence of PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh.
Apna Punjab Party candidate Romi was active in Aam Aadmi Party but later he deserted party and joined Sucha Singh Chottepur led Apna Punjab Party and allotted ticket from Bassi Pathana.
It may be mentioned here that Bassi Pathana town and Khamano Nagar Panchyat falls under Bassi