Lok Sabha elections: Punjab Democratic Alliance announces 7 candidates, CPI, RMPI join in
Khaira, while welcoming CPI and RMPI (Palsa Group) to the alliance, said the PDA also finalised the seat-sharing agreement in the meeting.Updated: Mar 12, 2019 07:48 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
The Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) on Monday announced its candidates for seven of a total of 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state, a day after the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the schedule for the general elections.
The alliance, which got a boost with the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI Palsa Group) joining hands with it, announced the candidates from the Patiala, Khadoor Sahib, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar seats.
Until now, it comprised the Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP), Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
PEP chief and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who is the face of the PDA, announced the names of candidates at a press conference after a meeting of leaders of the six-party alliance at his residence in Chandigarh.
He was accompanied by newly floated Nava Punjab Party chief and Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, LIP president Simarjeet Singh Bains, BSP state chief Rashpal Singh Raju, RMPI faction general secretary Mangat Ram Pasla, and CPI state secretary Bant Singh Brar.
Seat-sharing final, Sangrur not clear
Khaira, while welcoming CPI and RMPI (Palsa Group) to the alliance, said the PDA also finalised the seat-sharing agreement in the meeting. “The BSP, PEP and the LIP have been allocated three seats each. The Nava Punjab Party (earlier known as Punjab Manch), CPI and the RMPI have been given one each. No decision has been taken on the Sangrur seat so far,” he said.
While the PEP has been allocated Khadoor Sahib, Bathinda and Faridkot, the Lok Insaaf Party got Ludhiana, Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib. The BSP has named its candidates from Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Anandpur Sahib. Nava Punjab Party has got Patiala whereas the two new entrants were allocated Ferozepur and Gurdaspur.
Taksalis appealed to rethink
Khaira appealed to leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) to withdraw their candidates and join the PDA for sake of the state and to defeat the two parties (Congress and Akali Dal) led by Amarinder Singh and Parkash Singh Badal. “They cannot break the alliance for just one candidate,” he said. The Taksalis had walked out of the PDA following differences over the Anandpur Sahib seat.
Asked if the Taksalis decide to return to PDA would the alliance take a relook at the seat-sharing arrangement, Khaira said the seat allocation was final, but they could take one seat (Sangrur) that was still to be decided. “We want to defeat the Congress, SAD and farzi inquilaabis (fake revolutionaries) and will take a call on our candidate at an appropriate time,” he said. His former party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has fielded sitting MP Bhagwant Mann from Sangrur.
Though he has publicly declared his intent to contest from the Bathinda seat, Khaira did not make any announcement on this from the alliance forum. He ducked a query in this regard by saying his party would take the decision.
List of alliance candidates
Dr Dharamvira Gandhi (Nava Punjab Party): He is a suspended AAP MP from Patiala. One of city’s best-known cardiologists, he defeated Congress leader Preneet Kaur in 2014.
Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra (PEP): She is patron of the Khalra Mission and has been fighting for justice for victims of fake encounters. Her husband, human rights activist Jaswant Khalra, had gone missing in 1995.
Baldev Singh (PEP): Rebel AAP MLA from Jaitu, he rebelled against the party leadership when Khaira was removed from the post of leader of opposition. He late quit the AAP to join PEP.
FATEHGARH SAHIB (RESERVED)
Manwinder Singh Giaspura (LIP): He played an important role in bringing out the massacre of 32 Sikhs at Hondh Chillar village of Rewari during the 1984 riots. He later lost his job in a Gurgaon-based company.
Vikram Singh Sodhi (BSP): An international polo player and a businessman, he has been active in the area. He started a polo championship there in the name of his grandfather. He joined the BSP recently.
Khushi Ram (BSP): A retired IAS officer, he was state president of Bahujan Kranti Morcha formed jointly by Backward and Minority Communities Federation and Bharat Mukti Morcha. He joined the BSP in October 2018.
Balwinder Kumar (BSP): A former journalist, he is the state secretary of the party in Punjab. He was the party candidate from Kartarpur seat in the 2017 assembly elections and lost.
First Published: Mar 11, 2019 22:31 IST