After the Shiromani Akali Dal decided not to field former minister Sucha Singh Langah from Dera Baba Nanak seat due to his conviction in a disproportionate assets case, the party on Monday dropped its three-time MLA Bibi Jagir Kaur from Bholath and picked her son-in-law Yuvraj Bhupinder Singh, 41. Husband of Bibi’s younger daughter, Bhupinder is Kapurthala zila parishad chairman for four years and is active in the Youth Akali Dal.
Bibi, who was a cabinet minister till December 2012, was convicted by a special CBI court Patiala for ‘abduction, illegal confinement and forcible abortion of her daughter’ and was awarded five-year jail. She is currently out on bail. She tried her best to stay in the battle of ballot and even filed a plea in the Punjab and Haryana high court, seeking a ‘stay’ on her sentence, but it was rejected by the court in August 2016. The next date of hearing for the appeal against the CBI court verdict is January 10.
The party also announced Hari Singh, 59, as its candidate from Dhuri. He is founder managing director of Preet Tractors based in Nabha. “I want to do some sewa (service) now,” he told HT.
Bholath segment of Kapurthala district has been witnessing high-stake contest since 1997 between former SGPC chief Jagir Kaur and former Congress leader Sukhpal Khaira (now in AAP). Khaira is AAP candidate this time and, for the first time, won’t face Jagir Kaur, a popular figure among the influential Lobana community in the segment. In the four elections the two faced each other, Bibi won thrice and Khaira wrested the seat once in 2007.
Sources said, Bibi was pitching the name of her daughter Rajneet Kaur Dazy (Bhulinder’s wife) for the ticket, but the party decided in favour of her son-in-law instead.
Jagir Kaur heads a dera, Sant Prem Singh Muralewale at Begowal and her son-in-law has been living there since his marriage in 2003. He also comes from the Lobana community.