Lok Sabha elections 2019: Congress clears 6 names for Punjab, fields all sitting MPs
All four sitting MPs have been renominated from their seats. Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has been fielded from Gurdaspur and Ravneet Bittu from Ludhiana. Santokh Chaudhary and Gurjit Aujla will fight from Jalandhar and Amritsar, respectively.Updated: Apr 03, 2019 02:26 IST
The central election committee (CEC) of the Congress, headed by party president Rahul Gandhi, on Tuesday cleared nominees for six out of 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.
All four sitting MPs have been renominated from their seats. Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has been fielded from Gurdaspur and Ravneet Bittu from Ludhiana. Santokh Chaudhary and Gurjit Aujla will fight from Jalandhar and Amritsar, respectively. Aujla has sailed through despite tough resistance from a section of the party, including minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and MLA Harpartap Ajnala. Punjab affairs in-charge Asha Kumari was rooting for Amritsar mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu.
Amarinder’s wife Preneet Kaur has been retained from Patiala and Chabbewal MLA Raj Kumar Chabbewal will be party nominee from the reserved seat of Hoshiarpur.
No decision was taken on any of the contentious seats where differences have emerged between screening panel members comprising Amarinder, Jakhar, Asha and general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal. The panel had sent the name of former Union minister Manish Tewari for Anandpur Sahib seat but it was held back after Rahul questioned if it is a Hindu or Sikh-dominated seat.
While Amarinder and Asha backed Tewari saying it is a Hindu-dominated segement, Jakhar wants a Jat Sikh to be fielded from there.
Though other members of CEC backed Tewari, Rahul agreed with Jakhar that Tewari had run away from a contest in last polls and a final decision on t/he seat was deferred.
With Pawan Kumar Bansal bagging Chandigarh ticket, wife of local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Navjot Kaur, who had applied from Chandigarh, also becomes a serious claimant for Anandpur Sahib seat.
The Sangrur seat, too, was left undecided.
While Amarinder was rooting for his loyalist Kewal Dhillon, Venugopal is learnt to have said that “he was not the best candidate”.
Asha proposed name of state minister Vijay Inder Singla from Bathinda but Rahul objected to it asking why should Singla contest Bathinda and not Sangrur, which was a Hindu-dominated seat. For Khadoor Sahib, the name of former MLA Jasbir Dimpa was kept on hold. He has the backing of Captain-Asha duo.
On Bathinda and Ferozepur seats, the party decided to wait for the Akalis to show their cards first amid reports that Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal may contest from Ferozepur while his wife and Union minister Harsimrat Badal will stay put in Bathinda. The decision on Faridkot and Fatehgarh Sahib reserved seats has also been kept pending.