With sitting Congress MLA Guriqbal Kaur Babli claiming that she will not contest assembly elections this time, fight for ticket is now between two main contenders, district Congress chief Satvir Singh Palli Jhikki ,53, and Babli’s son Angad Singh Saini, 26.
Jhikki and Babli, known as arch-rivals, along with her son, had applied for party ticket. But, now the MLA has decided to not fight elections, citing health reasons.
Palli Jhikki, a ground-level senior leader had remained district youth Congress president for nine years here. He has also remained a village sarpanch two times and director of the cooperative bank. The senior Congress leader is holding meetings at the village levels for the upcoming assembly elections.
Saini on the other hand is trying to connect with the village youth. He is organising cricket tournaments through a trust named after his grandfather Dilbagh Singh, a former cabinet minister and senior Congress leader. Dilbagh Singh had played key role in the formation of Nawanshahr in 1995 during Harcharan Brar government.
Saini is also distributing sports kits among the youth of villages, in his attempt to impress the party brass to grab the ticket. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has already given ticket to former Congress leader Charanjeet Singh Channi son of Dilbag Singh. If Saini gets ticket, uncle and nephew will lock horns in the upcoming assembly elections.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Jhikki said that he had also applied for the ticket last time in 2012 from the constituency.
“I have been working for the party since my father Balwant Singh was killed by militants in Nawanshahr during 1988” claimed Jhikki. Whatever the party decides will be acceptable to me, said Jhikki. Saini told HT that he has been active since 2009 MP elections and has contributed in the win of party’s candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu from Anandpur Sahib.
“We have distributed 300 cricket kits through our trust and intend to further such initiatives to serve people,” Saini said.
District Congress woman wing president Jatinder Kaur Moonga has also applied for ticket this time.
On November 4 the district Congress leadership led by Jhikki held a protest outside the office of deputy commissioner. At the time of protest both MLA Babli and her son Angad were not present due to reported differences between them. The senior leaders took notice of the situation, as dharna was announced, by the party.