Punjab LS polls: Former Congress MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee joins SAD - Hindustan Times
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Punjab LS polls: Former Congress MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee joins SAD

Apr 22, 2024 05:11 PM IST

Minutes after the joining, Sukhbir announced that Kaypee, a former PPCC chief, would be the SAD candidate from the Jalandhar reserved Lok Sabha constituency.

In yet another setback to the Congress in Punjab, its former member of Parliament Mohinder Singh Kaypee, 67, joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Jalandhar on Monday.

Former Congress MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee with Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal in Jalandhar on Monday. (HT Photo)
Former Congress MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee with Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal in Jalandhar on Monday. (HT Photo)

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal reached Kaypee’s residence in Jalandhar and inducted him into the party in the afternoon. Minutes after his joining, Sukhbir announced that Kaypee would be the party candidate from the Jalandhar reserved Lok Sabha constituency.

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Also read: Punjab LS polls: SAD names Kaypee from Jalandhar, Harsimrat from Bathinda

Kaypee, a former president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and three-time MLA, was in touch with Sukhbir for past few days and held multiple closed-door meetings ever since he was denied the ticket by the Congress. He was among the contenders from this Dalit-dominated parliamentary segment but the Congress announced former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi as its candidate on April 14.

This is the second jolt for the party in the past three days as Karamjit Kaur, the wife of former Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary, snapped ties with the party and joined the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).

Inducting him into the SAD fold, Sukhbir described Kaypee as a seasoned political leader who holds a reputed image in Doaba politics.

“The SAD campaign gets a major boost with Kaypee’s joining in. It will surely help in strengthening the party in Doaba,” Sukhbir said.

Both Channi and Kaypee are close relatives as Kaypee’s daughter Karishma is married to Channi’s nephew Manraj Singh.

After his joining, Kaypee said both the Congress and the SAD have a history of over 100 years in politics and both the parities have worked for the welfare of the state. “I have chosen the Akali Dal because it is regional party, which made concerted efforts for the welfare of Punjab and Punjabiyat. I have difference of opinions with the Congress and its leaders, who have failed to recognise the contributions made by families associated with the party for decades,” he said.

The SAD had been looking for a suitable candidate having substantial base in the Dalit community both in rural and urban areas, especially after the exit of two-time MLA Pawan Tinu. Tinu was the top contender of the Jalandhar ticket but the party faced the jolt after Tinu switched loyalties to the AAP, which declared him its candidate from Jalandhar.

Kaypee was elected Lok Sabha member from Jalandhar in 2009 but lost from Hoshiarpur in 2014. In the 2017 assembly elections, he lost to then SAD candidate Pawan Kumar Tinu.

Kaypee, who served as minister of sports in 1992 and transport in 1995, carries forward the political legacy of his father Darshan Singh Kaypee, a former minister and five-time MLA from Jalandhar. His father was killed by militants in 1992.

He is associated with the Dera Radha Soami Satsang, Beas, which has a sizeable following in the region.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Navrajdeep Singh is a senior staff correspondent. He covers agriculture, crime, local bodies, health and education in the Patiala district of Punjab.

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