Assembly polls: SAD announces candidates from 9 Ludhiana constituencies
Putting speculations to bed, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has announced the name of nine candidates for the assembly elections, which are scheduled for next year.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had announced the names of Paramjeet Singh Dhillon and Sharanjit Singh Dhillon while holding rallies in Samrala and Sahnewal, while district party president Ranjit Singh Dhillon will contest polls from the Ludhiana-East constituency.
The candidature of Harish Rai Dhanda from Atam Nagar constituency has sent ripples through the political circuits as the constituency is represented by Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) chief Simarjeet Singh Bains, who is facing rape charges. The complainant is being unequivocally supported by Dhanda, who is a bitter rival of the MLA.
Playing the panthic card, the SAD has fielded Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib president Pritpal Singh Pali. Many names including Youth Akali Dal (YAD) district president Gurdeep Singh Gosha and former LIP leader Vipan Sood Kaka were doing the rounds, but the party preferred Pali over Gosha and Kaka Sood.
Former Cabinet minister and senior SAD leader Maheshinder Singh Grewal has been offered the seat from Ludhiana West, which is currently being represented by Congress heavyweight and sitting cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu.
It was speculated that Kamal Chatly, who had recently left the saffron party to join SAD, would be offered the seat. Chatly had fought against Ashu in the previous election and had even put up his hoardings in the constituency.
His supporters in the Sham Nagar Area had also begun campaigning for him. However, SAD banked on the old warhorse, instead of Chatly.
Darshan Singh Shivalik, a Dalit leader, has been offered the seat from Gill Constituency. He had lost the last election to bureaucrat-turned-politician Kuldip Singh Vaid.
Sitting MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali is SAD’s pick from Dakha constituency. Ayali had defeated chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s confidant Captain Sandeep Sandhu during the 2019 bypolls.
Former legislator SR Kaler has been offered a seat from Jagraon. He was defeated by AAP leader Sarabjit Kau Manuke last time.
SAD has not announced candidates from Raikot, Ludhiana North and South, Payal and Khanna. Those in the know say leaders from the Bahujan Samaj Party will contest polls from Ludhiana-North and Payal.