SAD announces list of 69 candidates for Punjab polls, Dhindsa shifted | punjab | Hindustan Times
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SAD announces list of 69 candidates for Punjab polls, Dhindsa shifted

The announcement of tickets for Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidates has clearly indicated that deputy chief minister and party president Sukhbir Badal is eyeing the Dalit votes, a formula that trounced the Congress in the 2012 polls.

punjab Updated: Nov 17, 2016 17:51 IST
Vishal Rambani
Clockwise from left: Finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa has been shifted to Lehra segment, while his cabinet colleagues Bikram Singh Majithia and Sikander Singh Maluka will re-contest from their segments.
Clockwise from left: Finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa has been shifted to Lehra segment, while his cabinet colleagues Bikram Singh Majithia and Sikander Singh Maluka will re-contest from their segments.(HT File Photos)

The announcement of tickets for Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidates has clearly indicated that deputy chief minister and party president Sukhbir Badal is eyeing the Dalit votes, a formula that trounced the Congress in the 2012 polls.

Of the 18 reserved seats for which candidates have been announced, 12 have got new faces, either by dropping some sitting MLAs or swapping some others.

Sukhbir, using his smart social engineering, had sprung surprises in 2012, when the SAD had won 21 seats reserved for Dalits, while the Congress, which traditionally gets SC votes, managed only 10, while the BJP got three of the 34 seats reserved for Dalits in Punjab, which has maximum percentage of Dalit voters. To woo the Ravidas community vote bank, tickets have been allotted to Dera Sach Khand Ballan pointsmen Kabir Das and Seth Satpal Mal, who recently joined the SAD after quitting the Congress.

And, in a bid to repeat the 2012 results, Sukhbir again focused on Dalit seats, where the Congress is looking for candidates. Sukhbir has dropped even Dalit heavyweights such as speaker of the Vidhan Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal (Payal), former Cabinet ministers and sitting MLAs Swaran Singh Phillaur (Kartarpur) and Avnish Chander (Phillaur), both facing the heat of the Bhola drug racket, and Gurtej Singh Ghuriana (Balluana) and Rajwinder Kaur (Nihal Singh Wala).

Only five sitting MLAs have been pitted from their earlier contested seats, who include Cabinet ministers Gulzar Singh Ranike (Attari) and Sohan Singh Thandal (Chabbewal), MLAs Darshan Singh Shivalik (Gill), Joginder Singh Jindu (Ferozepur Rural) and Vaninder Kaur Loomba (Shutrana).

Jagraon MLA SR Kaler has been shifted to Nihal Singh Wala in place of sitting MLA Rajwinder Kaur, and now Zila Parishad chairperson of Ludhiana Bibi Amarjit Kaur Sahoke will contest from Jagraon; Dirbha MLA Sant Balvir Singh Ghunas has been shifted to Bhadaur by dropping last-time losing candidate Darbara Singh Guru, and in the neighbouring Mehal Kalan seat, the SAD has fielded Ajeet Singh Shant, by replacing Gobind Singh Kanjla; former Conrgessman Isher Singh Meharban has been given ticket from Payal by dropping speaker of the Vidhan Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal. However, Sukhbir compenstated the Atwal family by giving ticket to Atwal’s son Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal from Raikot, from where Bikramjit Singh had contested in 2012. Justice Nirmal Singh (retd) has been shifted from Bassi Pathana to Chamkaur Sahib.

New faces include Baldev Singh Khaira (Phillaur), who recently came from the BSP, Satpal Mal (Kartarpur) and Kabir Das (Nabha), both Dera Sach Khand Ballan followers, and Dr Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi (Banga)

“The SAD has a two-pronged strategy, to cut the anti-incumbency of sitting candidates by swapping and replacing them and to cut into such votes as traditionally go to the Congress. The seats have been reshuffled by Sukhbir Badal, who has conducted a survey at every seat,” said a SAD strategist, dealing with the survey.

He said, initially, Sukhbir okayed tickets to Swaran Phillaur and Avinash Chander, but anticipating a negative vote in view of their questioning by the enforcement directorate, he avoided it and brought in new faces.

“There is complete focus on Dalit seats and, from December 1, a Dalit Yatra carrying the idol of Bhagwan Valmiki, will start from the Shambu barrier and will pass through the entire Punjab and conclude at Ramtirath, where a temple costing Rs 100 crore is being built,” said a SAD strategist. He said that Sukhbir was personally giving final touches to this yatra. Sukhbir is yet to announce candidates for 11 more Dalit seats, and these also will see changes.

Here’s the list

Constituency: Candidate

AJNALA: Amarpal Singh ‘Bony’

RAJASANSI: Veer Singh Lopoke

MAJITHA: Bikram Singh Majithia

ATTARI: Gulzar Singh Ranike

RAMPURA PHUL: Sikander Singh Maluka

BATHINDA URBAN: Sarup Chand Singla

TALWANDI SABO: Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu

MAUR: Janmeja Singh Sekhon

MEHAL KALAN: Ajeet Singh Shant

BHADAUR: Balvir Singh Ghunas

BALLUANA: Parkash Singh Bhatti

ZIRA: Hari Singh Zira

FEROZEPUR RURAL: Joginder Singh Jindu

GURU HAR SAHAI: Vardev Singh Maan

FARIDKOT: Parambans Singh ‘Bunty’ Romana

KOTKAPURA: Mantar Singh Brar

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Didar Singh Bhatti

AMLOH: Gurpreet Singh ‘Raju’ Khanna

GURDASPUR: Gurbachan Singh Babbehali

QADIAN: Sewa Singh Sekhwan

BATALA: Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal

FATEHGARH CHURIAN: Nirmal Singh Kahlon

DERA BABA NANAK: Sucha Singh Langah

URMUR: Arvinder Singh Rasoolpur

CHABBEWAL: Sohan Singh Thandal

GARHSHANKAR: Surinder Singh Bhullewal Rathan

PHILLAUR: Baldev Singh Khaira

NAKODAR: Gurpartap Singh Wadala

SHAHKOT: Ajit Singh Kohar

ADAMPUR: Pawan Kumar Tinu

KARTARPUR: Satpal Mall

JALANDHAR CANTT: Sarabjit Singh Makkar

KAPURTHALA: Paramjit Singh Pamma

SULTANPUR LODHI: Upinderjit Kaur

KHANNA: Ranjit Singh Talwandi

SAHNEWAL: Sharanjit Singh Dhillon

LUDHIANA EAST: Ranjit Singh Dhillon

LUDHIANA SOUTH: Hira Singh Gabria

GILL: Darshan Singh Shivalik

DAKHA: Manpreet Singh Ayali

SAMRALA: Santa Singh Umaidpur

RAIKOT: Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal

ATAMNAGAR: Gurmeet Singh Kular

PAYAL: Isher Singh Meharban

JAGRAON: Amarjit Kaur Sahoke

SARDULGARH: Dilraj Singh Bhunder

GIDDARBAHA: Hardeep Singh ‘Dimpy’ Dhillon

MUKTSAR: Kanwarjeet Singh ‘Rozy’ Barkandi

DHARAMKOT: Tota Singh

NIHALSINGHWALA: SR Kler

PATIALA RURAL: Satbir Singh Khatra

GHANAUR: Harpreet Kaur Mukhmailpur

SANOUR: Harinder Pal Singh Chandumajra

SAMANA: Surjit Singh Rakhra

SHUTRANA: Vaninder Kaur Loomba

NABHA: Kabir Dass

ROPAR: Daljit Singh Cheema

CHAMKAUR SAHIB: Nirmal Singh

DERA BASSI: NK Sharma

BANGA: Sukhwinder Singh ‘Sukhi’

NAWANSHAHR: Jarnail Singh Wahid

BALACHAUR: Nand Lal

LEHRA: Parminder Singh Dhindsa

SANGRUR: Parkash Chand Garg

AMARGARH: Iqbal Singh Jhundan

TARN TARAN: Harmeet Singh Sandhu

KHEMKARAN: Virsa Singh Valtoha

PATTI: Adaish Partap Singh Kairon

KHADOOR SAHIB: Ravinder Singh Brahmpura

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