For Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal it's all in the family. The Shiromani Akali Dal's first list of candidates for the assembly polls features four of his relatives.
Apart from the CM himself, there is his son-in-law Adesh Partap Singh Kairon and Bikramjit Singh Majithia (brother-in-law of son and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal) have got party tickets from Lambi, Pati and Majithia. Two other relatives Janmeja Singh Sekhon and former IAS officer Amarjit Singh Sidhu have also got party tickets from Maur and Talwandi Sabo constituencies, respectively.
The party has also given another chance to five of those who lost during the last assembly elections from the Malwa region. These include, Saroop Chand Singla, Sikander Singh Malooka and Amarjit Singh Sidhu for Bathinda, Rampuraphul and Talwandi Sabo. Singla and Malooka lost their seats to Congress candidates in 2007.
Gurdev Singh Badal and Mantar Singh Brar, the losing candidates from Jatio and Kotkpura have also retained their party tickets. Balwinder Singh Bhunder lost from Mansa in the last elections, but his son Dilraj Singh Bhundar will represent the party this time.
A winner, Jagdeep Singh Nakai, however, has been replaced with cabinet minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon.
Intense political activity started in the district with the announcement of former DGP PS Gill's candidature from Moga. The role of the district administration has also come under scanner. The former DGP wields considerable influence in police and civil administration circles.
Several SAD leaders paid visits to Gill's house to congratulate him. "I want development of the Moga city and surrounding areas. People are lacking basic facilities here, and I hope to solve these problems soon," said Gill in a public meeting.
On Saturday, Congress MLA Joginder Pal Jain alleged some police and higher civil officials were campaigning in Gill's public meetings. "I have complained to the chief election commissioner," he said.