While former Congressman Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu has been the frontrunner for the Shiromani Akai Dal (SAD) ticket from Talwandi Sabo by-election, the Congress would need to choose between young and seasoned hands while deciding for its candidate for the seat.
Interestingly, a former People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) leader and a present SAD worker, both former Congressmen, have also been trying to bag the Congress ticket.
Within the Congress, two young leaders are in race for the ticket. Aged 33, president of the Youth Congress, Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency, Khushbaz Singh Jattana is trying to convert the by-election into a big leap in his political career and former MLA Harmander Singh Jassi, a contender by default, has been trying to get the party ticket for his son, Sanpreet Singh, 31.
Having no political family background, a law graduate from Panjab University, Chandigarh, Jattan started his political career as a student leader as he was elected president of the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) for 2002-2004. Belonging to the Rahul Gandhi school in the Congress, Jattana said, “I have been working in Talwandi Sabo for long. Youth Congress has strong network in Malwa. It will be an honour for me if the party decides to give me an opportunity to contest,” said Jattana.
He said, “Ravneet Singh Bittu made me join the Congress. I also worked as Youth Congress delegate. I am thankful to Rahul Gandhi for providing me an opportunity in politics.” Jattana is also close to state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa.
Seasoned Congress leader Jassi has been pushing the name of his son. Jassi had won this seat two times in a row in 1992 and 1997. He lost it in 2002 to Jeet Mohinder, who was then an Independent.
Sukhdev Singh Chahal, who quit PPP last month, had contested on the PPP ticket from Talwandi Sabo after quitting Congress. Now, he has quit PPP to lobby for the Congress ticket. The AAP has failed to decide its candidate.