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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: In Punjab, dynasties continue to dominate state politics

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: In Punjab, the ruling Congress has fielded four nominees belonging to political parties and the opposition, Shiromani Akali Dal has three such candidates.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 29, 2019 14:37 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
lok sabha elections 2019,lok sabha elections in punjab,punjab political parties
Both Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal are contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. (Agencies)

The ruling Congress in Punjab is leading from the front when it comes to fielding dynasts in this Lok Sabha elections, with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) coming a close second.

While the ruling party has four nominees belonging to political families in the fray, the opposition, SAD, has three such contenders.

Chief minister Amarinder Singh’s wife Preneet Kaur, a former Union minister who in 2014 lost to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Dr Dharamvira Gandhi (who has formed Nawan Punjab Party), is contesting on Congress ticket from Patiala. She won consecutive parliamentary polls in 1999, 2004 and 2009.

Preneet Kaur is Congress candidate frm Patiala Lok Sabha seat while party’s Punjab unit chief, Sunil Jakhar is contesting from the Gurdaspur. ( Agencies )

Also, party’s Gurdaspur candidate and Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar is son of former Lok Sabha speaker Balram Jakhar. Sunil won from the segment in the 2017 bypolls after the seat fell vacant in the wake of the death of MP Vinod Khanna.

Ravneet Singh Bittu, grandson of former Punjab CM Beant Singh who was assassinated in 1995, is seeking re-election from Ludhiana. In 2009, he was elected MP from Anandpur Sahib but was shifted to Ludhiana in 2014. His uncle Tej Parkash Singh was elected MLA from Payal in 2002. Tejparkash’s son Gurkirat Kotli is Khanna MLA.

Santokh Singh Chaudhary, the Congress’ Dalit face in Doaba who is contesting from Jalandhar, is son of former MP and minister Gurbanta Singh who died in 1985. Chaudhary’s brother Jagjit Singh Chaudhary was a minister in the Congress government led by Amarinder Singh from 202 to 2007.

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal is ( Agencies )

With his wife and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal in the poll fray, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, son of Akali Dal patriarch and five-time CM Parkash Singh Badal, has himself taken a plunge in the Lok Sabha elections to better his party’s prospects. Harsimrat is seeking re-election as SAD-BJP alliance nominee from the Bathinda seat from where she has won twice.

This is a first in the 98-year history of the party when its president and his wife are contesting at the same time.

Moreover, party’s five-time MLA and former state finance minister Parminder Dhindsa, who is debuting in the parliamentary polls from Sangrur, is son of veteran Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.

Besides, Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) chief and Bathinda candidate Sukhpal Singh Khaira’s father Sukhjinder Singh Khaira was education minister in the Badal government from 1977 to 1980.

First Published: Apr 29, 2019 14:37 IST