Congress has chosen a former SAD leader and a former NRI to contest against Bains brothers from Atam Nagar and Ludhiana (South) constituencies.
While the party has pitched former SAD leader Kamaljit Singh Karwal, who recently joined Congress, against Simarjit Singh Bains in Atam Nagar, a former Canadian citizen Bhupinder Sidhu will contest Balwinder Bains from Ludhiana South constituency. Interestingly, Karwal was once a close aide of Bains.
Some party leaders, including Punjab Congress general secretary Krishan Kumar Bawa, secretary Kulwant Sidhu and youth Congress leader Parvinder Lapran had protested against allotting of ticket to Karwal, who is a turncoat, in Delhi on Wednesday.
Congress released its third list on Thursday in which four candidates from Ludhiana district were announced. However, Ludhiana (East) was left pending from where reports of former Union minister of the state Manish Tewari contesting the polls were rife. However, sources said that opposition of ticket to Tewari by MP Ravneet Singh Bittu camp was creating hurdles in announcement of candidate.
Meanwhile, Bhupinder Singh Sidhu said that he left his Canadian citizenship in the year 2011 and had worked in Ludhiana South even before the assembly polls of 2012 when Ashok (Pappi) Prasher was allotted ticket from the area.
Sidhu who has been fielded from South having a majority of migrant labourers said that he will work for providing potable water in the area. “Potable water is the major problem that the present MLA has not been able to address,” said Sidhu.
Five times MLA Rakesh Pandey was also allotted ticket in third list from Ludhiana North where suspicion regarding his candidature was brewing among the party men.
Senior party leader and Congress councillor Hemraj Aggarwal had also pitched his candidature for a ticket from North. Thereafter, Pandey had openly dared opponents in statements that he was the choice of the people of the constituency.
After the declaration of candidates on Thursday, Aggarwal made an announcement that he would contest as an independent candidate from North constituency.
The party has also declared Major Singh Bhaini as their candidate from Dakha constituency. Major is a son of Gurdeep Singh Bhaini who was SAD MLA from Jagraon in 1985 and was also elected as an MLA from the same area in 2007 on Congress ticket.
Major Singh Bhaini was at present the general secretary of Punjab Congress. Candidates from Jagraon and Sahnewal are yet to be declared.