With all sitting ministers fielded again, Sukhbir’s favourite Rozy, Bunty, Dimpy, Noni, Bonny also secure tickets
Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday evening announced a list of 69 candidates for the upcoming Punjab assembly polls. The party, as per existing seat-sharing formula with the BJP, contests 94 of the 117 seats in the state.
Releasing the list from the party head office here, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, said all cabinet ministers would contest for their respective assembly segments barring Parminder Singh Dhindsa who would now contest from Lehra instead of Sunam. Apart from Dhindsa, five other candidates have been shifted to other constituencies as per the new list.
Among the ministers named were — Adaish Partap Singh Kairon (Patti), Ajit Singh Kohar ((Shahkot), Gulzar Singh Ranike (Attari), Sohan Singh Thandal (Chabbewal), Janmeja Singh Sekhon (Maur), Tota Singh (Dharamkot), Bikram Singh Majithia (Majitha), Sikander Singh Maluka (Rampura Phul), Surjit Singh Rakhra (Samana), Sharanjit Singh Dhillon (Sahnewal) and Daljeet Singh Cheema (Rupnagar).
However, prominently missing from the first list are the names of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the SAD president Sukhbir Badal himself.
Meanwhile, it has been observed that promoting young leadership, the SAD in the first list fielded 17 new faces for Punjab Assembly Elections 2017. The new faces have been picked up by the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on the basis of their performance in strengthening the party, as learnt.
Kanwarjit Singh ‘Rozy’ Barkandi, Parambans Singh ‘Bunty’Romana, Vardev Singh ‘Noni’ Mann, Hardeep Singh ‘Dimpy’ Dhilon, who are considered to be the part of Sukhbir’s core team in Malwa, have remained lucky to get the tickets in the first list.
Notably, the party has this time opted to drop the two-time Punjab Vidhan Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal and allotted the ticket to his son Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal from Raikot constituency.
MP Prem Singh Chandumajra’s son Harinderpal Singh has been picked for Sanour and Ferozepur range Deputy Inspector General Ranbir Singh Khattra’s son Satbir Singh Khatra has been fielded from Patiala (Rural).
The SAD has this time allotted the Bhadaur assembly ticket to Sant Balvir Singh Ghunas whereas in 2012 it was unsuccessfully contested by retired IAS officer Darbara Singh Guru. To compensate Guru has now been made the Vice President of the SAD. Further, Balluana ticket has gone with Parkash Singh Bhatti, a former MLA, replacing the incumbent Gurtej Singh Ghuriana. It’s learnt that the party’s top leadership was unhappy with Ghuriana for some allegations levelled on his character.
Interestingly, the Bahujan Samaj Party’s Phillaur face Baldev Singh Khaira, who had recently joined Akali Dal, has remained lucky one to get the ticket from same constituency. In place of former minister Sarwan Singh Philaur, the list carries the name of Seth Satpal Mal from Kartarpur constituency.
Former Olympian and ex-SAD MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment Pargat Singh, who has now joined Awaz-E-Punjab forum, has been replace with Sarabjit Singh Makkar.
Among the 69 candidates, six are women while the SAD has fielded six Hindu faces on its tickets. Popularly known as party of Blue turban men, following the previous policy, has given tickets to numerous candidates belonging to Majhbi, Balmiki, Ravidasi, Ramdasia, Adharmi, Ramgarhia, Gujjar, Kamboj, Singla and Sharma communities.
Keeping his informal announcement made few weeks back, Sukhbir ensured the list includes the names of Sarup Chand Singla (Bathinda urban) and Gurpreet Singh ‘Raju’ Khanna (Amloh).
Others on the list included Amarpal Singh Bonny from Ajnala, Veer Singh Lopoke (Raja Sansi), Sarup Chand Singla (Bathinda Urban), Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu (Talwandi Sabo), Hari Singh (Zira).
The SAD’s alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as per the seat sharing pact has not yet announced any of its total 23 of the total 117 seats. The same way, Congress has also made no announcement on this front till date. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has, however, allotted the tickets to 79 candidates till now.
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