As the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) released its first list of 19 candidates out of 117 segments for the Punjab assembly polls on Thursday, the names represented a mixed bag. It covered age ambit from 25 to 60, and has six graduates, four advocates, a doctor, a diploma-holder, and three matriculates, besides four Class-12 passouts.
The youngest, 25-year-old, contenders include president and vice- president of the AAP youth wing, Harjot Singh Bains from Sahnewal and Samar Bir Singh Sidhu from Fazilka, respectively. While Bains is a law graduate, Sidhu is a farmer who has studied up to Class 12. The only woman candidate, Rupinder Kaur, 28, from Bathinda (rural) is currently pursuing PhD in law and completes the under-30 trio.
Gurpreet Singh Lapran and Himmat Singh Shergill, aged 36, will be contesting from Payal and SAS Nagar constituencies respectively. Lapran is a graduate and small-scale trader whereas Shergill, who holds a master’s degree in professional and legal skills from the UK, is in-charge of party’s legal wing and was also the AAP candidate in 2014 parliamentary polls from Anandpur Sahib.
General secretary of the AAP farmer and labour wing, Ahbaab Singh Grewal, is a graduate. Senior vice-president of the NGO Bhai Ghaniya Cancer Roko Seva Society, Kultar Singh Sandhwa, 40, is an engineering graduate and farmer who will contest from Kotkapura.
Brigadier Raj Kumar (retd) and Sajjan Singh Cheema, both aged 59 and graduates, will contest from Balachaur and Sultanpur Lodhi, respectively. Cheema is a former international basketball player and an Arjuna Award recipient.
In the 60-year bracket are four candidates. HS Phoolka, a law graduate who had unsuccessfully contested 2014 parliamentary elections from Ludhiana, will contest from Dakha. Former SGPC member Gurvinder Singh Shampura will contest from Fatehgarh Churian, while this bracket is completed by Dr Inderbir Singh Nibber from Amritsar (south) and ex-MP Mohan Singh Phallianwala who will contest from Ferozepur (rural).