Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday released its second list of 13 candidates for the Punjab assembly elections due early next year.Now, with the second list that has been announced by Sanjay Singh and Bhagwant Mann, AAP has announced a total of 32 candidates as the previous list contained 19 names. The party has stolen a march over the state’s two major political players-the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress as they are yet in a process of finalising their candidates.
Most prominent on the second list is Baljinder Kaur, the party’s state women’s wing president, from Talwandi Sabo assembly seat in Bathinda district. Baljinder had unsuccessfully contested on the same seat in 2014 assembly by-polls, where she could bag just 13,899 votes, whereas the winning SAD candidate Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu secured 71,747 votes.The second well-expected name in the list is Aman Arora from Sunam segment. A former Congress leader, who joined the AAP in January this year, is known as a moneybag whom the party had recently appointed the head of its trade wing. His family had been allotted the Congress ticket six times continuously since 1992 and it lost four times consecutively. Aman himself has contested the elections in 2007 and 2012 but lost to SAD’s Parminder Singh Dhindsa. Interestingly, his brother-in-law, a former Panjab University student leader, Rajendra Deepa is also a strong claimant of the Congress ticket from the same segment.
Third prominent name in the list is Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, whom the party has fielded from Amloh assembly constituency. Bhatti, who left SAD along with Manpreet Badal to form People’s Party of Punjab (PPP). He was among the founder members of the PPP and was the general secretary of the PPP. During the 2012 state Assembly elections, he had unsuccessfully contested from Khanna seat on the PPP ticket and bagged 23,370 votes out of the total polled 1,17,380 ones. Interestingly, when Manpreet joined the Congress, Bhatti, who was considered very close to Manpreet, opted to take a different route. He is close relative of SAD Fatehgarh Sahib constituency in-charge Didar SinghBhatti.
The party has fielded Daljeet Singh Grewal from Ludhiana (East) constituency from he was elected as an independent councillor with over 22,000 votes. This 49-year-old progressive farmer, Grewal has remained two-time councillor.Further, AAP’s Punjab SC wing chief Dev Mann, an actor and singer, will contest from Nabha. He is Class X according to his academic qualification. His father runs a cycle repair shop, as informed by the AAP leadership.
The party fielded Baldev Singh Azad, a teacher for past three decades, from Malout assembly seat. Azad is reportedly an author of four books and a son of freedom fighter he is known as a critic writer.From Attari seat, the AAP has announced the name of 38-year-old Jaswinder Singh Jahangir, who is the vice president of the ETT teachers union, Punjab. He has participated in various agitations and faced jail at times.A 35-year-old Anu Randhawa has been fielded from Ghanaur segment. The party gave weightage to her claim of being social worker considering that she held blood donation camps and organised marriages of poor people.
A former SGPC member Sarbans Singh Manki, who had resigned in protest against Bargadi sacrilege episode, has been allotted ticket from Samrala. From Sham Churasi, the AAP has fielded a medical practitioner Dr Ravjot Kaur. In her profile, she mentioned to have done lot of work in social service including the free distribution of medicines among needy.A Class X pass progressive farmer Karanvir Singh Tiwana is the party candidate from Patiala (Rural). This 40-year-old activist of Anna Hazare movement has remained the sarpanch of village Channa Nathu Wala and also ran youth club in the village.It is pertinent to mention since the party released its first list of 19 candidates, it had to face protests from party volunteers in various segments.
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