The Congress’ ‘one family, one ticket’ rule prevails without exception — forcing the one of the old warhorses of Congress party and six-time MLA, Lal Singh, to retire from electoral politics in favour of his son Rajinder Singh.
Releasing the third list of candidates, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh said that party will stick to ‘one family, one ticket’ norm, declaring Rajinder Singh as a nominee from Samana and Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary, wife of Jalandhar MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary, from Phillaur (SC).
Either in party hierarchy or the government, Lal Singh had always been the de facto Number Two since 1996 when Rajinder Kaur Bhattal was elevated as the CM.
Lal Singh had requested the party high command to take up his as a special case to allocate tickets to him and his son. Addressing workers on the New Year, he had said: “I don’t want my political legacy to die with me as it happened in case of former President Giani Zail Singh and ex-CM Darbara Singh. Thus, I will demand ticket for my son.”
In Samana, Rajinder Singh will face minister Surjit Singh Rakhra, who had last time defeated Raninder Singh, son of Captain Amarinder. Rakhra is still a formidable challenge for the Congress. Also, other ticket aspirants Gursharan Kaur Randhawa and former information commissioner Harinder Pal Singh Harry Mann are set to lodge a strong protest against Rajinder, who is already being tagged as an outsider.
With the exit of Lal Singh from Sanaur, Capt Amarinder reportedly has forwarded the name of Gurbans Punia, who recently joined party by deserting AAP, to the high command. Former improvement trust chairman Nirmal Singh Bhattian is also vying for the ticket.
A section of Lal Singh’s supporters are still hopeful that the party will bend the rule and field Lal Singh from Sanaur as his family is already canvassing there.