Punjab elections: Congress in a fix as 35 hopefuls line up for Kharar ticket
As many as 35 people have applied for a Congress ticket from the Kharar Assembly constituency, leaving the party in a fix.
With Kharar being the hometown of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, stakes are high in the semi-urban constituency, located on National Highway-21.
Part of SAS Nagar district, Kharar was declared an assembly constituency in 2012.
Among the front-runners for the Congress ticket are former cabinet minister Jagmohan Singh Kang, Mohali District Planning Board chairman Vijay Sharma Tinku, senior advocate Natrajan Kaushal and Youth Congress senior vice-president Jaswinder Singh Jassi.
Former deputy speaker Bir Devinder Singh, who had resigned from SAD (Sanyukt) last month, is also likely to join the Congress and will be a contender for the ticket.
A senior Congress leader said the party leadership was in a dilemma over picking its candidate from Kharar, but a name will be finalised soon.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has already fielded Punjabi singer Anmol Gagan Mann, 31.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, party’s Kanwar Sandhu had won from the seat by a margin of nearly 2,000 votes, defeating Congress’ Jagmohan Singh Kang.
But in November 2018, Sandhu, a journalist-turned-politician, along with Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, was suspended from the party for “anti-party activities”.
Though Khaira later resigned from the AAP and the Assembly, Sandhu is still with the party, but has not been active in the constituency.
During the Kharar municipal elections in February last year, AAP won only one of the 27 seats. The Congress won 10, the SAD eight and independent candidates also grabbed eight seats.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has picked realtor Ranjit Singh Gill, 57, as its candidate. He had finished third in 2017.
From the Bharatiya Janata Party, three names – Sukhwinder Singh Goldy, Khuswant Rai Giga and Vineet Joshi – are doing the rounds.