All of 25, Davinder Singh Ghubaya of Congress became the youngest entrant to the Punjab assembly along with Gurmeet Singh Meet Heyar of AAP from Barnala. They are closely followed by 26-year-old Angad Singh of Congress from Nawanshehar and 28-year-old Rupinder Kaur Ruby of AAP from Bathinda (rural).
It is for the first time that the Punjab House will have such a youthful profile with a large number of debutants falling in the age group of 25 to 45.
Their victory may have had a lot to do with young voters in the age group of 18 to 39, who formed 53% of the total voters.
While AAP led the three main parties in fielding fresh faces with 16 youngsters (25 to 35) in the fray, Congress came a close second with six young faces, and the Shiromani Akali Dal made do with only two candidates under 35. A large number of candidates below 35, 68 in all, tried their luck as independents but in vain.
In the last semester of the five-year BA-MA (economics) course at Panjab University, Chandigarh, Ghubaya joined the Congress after public fallout of his father, SAD MP Sher Singh Ghubaya, with deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal. Interestingly, Ghubaya, was pitched against five more youngsters below 35, including AAP’s Samarbir Singh Sidhu, 26.
Rupinder Kaur Ruby, 27, the winner from Bathinda (rural), had the lowest declared wealth (Rs 1.75 lakh), of any candidate in the state. Ruby, who is doing Ph.D in law, is the daughter of a government retiree, and has been working for AAP for the last two years.
Gurmeet Singh Meet Heyar, 27, from Faridkot, Prof Baljinder Kaur, 31, from Talwandi Sabo, Jai Krishan, 33, from Garhshankar, and Amarjit Singh Sandoa, 39, are among the other young debutants from AAP who have made it to the assembly.
Baldev Singh Khaira, 36, from Phillaur is one of the new faces fielded by SAD, who made the cut.
Angad Singh of Congress, who fought from his ancestral seat of Nawanshahr, held by his mother Gur Iqbal Kaur, defeated his uncle Charanjit Singh Channi of AAP. Other young Congress leaders who are making their debut in the Assembly include Kulbir Singh Zira, 36, Sukhwinder Singh Danny from Jandiala, 39, and Birenderjit Singh Pahra (35) from Gurdaspur.
The 2012 assembly had 37 new faces: 18 from SAD, 11 from Congress, five from BJP and three independents.