The BJP brass decided to wait till the last date for filing nominations to name its candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat while releasing names of nominees for 15 seats.
The party will await the Supreme Court’s response on January 17 to the plea of former cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu to stay his conviction so that he can fight the byelection to the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency as a BJP candidate.
It did not announce candidates for four assembly consitutencies in that Lok Sabha segment.
Sidhu resigned as an MP from the seat following his conviction by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in road rage case that resulted in the death of a person. Sidhu was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Friday.
If Sidhu gets a stay on his conviction, he will be the BJP nominee again. If not, his wife who bear the same name as his will be the party’s candidate.
BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said, "It may either be Sidhu or his wife Navjot Kaur." Jaitley also hastened to add that the option of fielding a local leader, too, has been kept open. He ruled out reports that his name could also be considered.
The BJP's central election committee named no candidate for Hoshiarpur represented in the outgoing state assembly by its MLA Tikshan Sood. In the last elections, the saffron party could win only three seats -- Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur and Garh Shankar -- of the 23 in the 117-constituency state. It was left with two of them after losing Garh Shankar in a by-poll.
Sood's name is said to have met with opposition from within the BJP, prompting the party to withhold ticket for the seat until the next meeting of its election committee scheduled for January 19.
The announcement of candidates for Mukerian, Abohar and Jalandhar South were also kept pending.