Even as the Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha seats have seen an uprising of sorts within the Congress after the nomination of Santokh Chaudhary and Raj Kumar Chabbewal, respectively, the selection of candidates for three Lok Sabha seats in Punjab- Bathinda, Ferozepur and Anandpur Sahib- has become an onerous task for the Congress. In 2014 the Congress had lost at all the three seats to the Shiromani Akali Dal.
In Bathinda Union minister Harsimrat Badal had trounced Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal, who has, this time, expressed his reservations to join the fray. Manpreet, who is a nephew of SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal, had last time made it fight within the Badal family, in which Harsimrat won but by a wafer-thin majority. This time the Congress has not yet been able to find a suitable contender for the seat even as the SAD has yet to announce whether Harsimrat would re-contest from the same seat. Harsimrat, though, has been campaigning hectically in her constituency for the last two months.
In Ferozepur, though the Congress seemingly turned the tables on the SAD when the sitting MP Sher Singh Ghubaya quit SAD and joined the Congress bandwagon. There were speculations that Ghubaya might ,this time, become the Congress nominee, but a defiant opposition from within the Congress ranks in the constituency, has jeopardised his chances to get the Congress ticket.The Congress faces a similar dilemma for the Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha seat, where the SAD has already announced the nomination of sitting MP Prem Singh Chandumajra.
Last time, the Congress had fielded former union minister Ambika Soni from the seat. She was defeated by a margin on 24,000 votes. Even as there have been reports in a section of media about the possible candidature of Jaiveer Shergill, the name of Manish Tiwari, who had been an MP from Ludhiana earlier, also came in circulation.
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