Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll on Oct 11
The last date of filing nominations is September 22 and counting of votes will take place on October 15 and two days after that the polls code would end.punjab Updated: Sep 12, 2017 22:56 IST
The bye-election to the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency will be held on October 11, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Tuesday.
Issuing the poll schedule, the ECI imposed the model code of conduct in the constituency comprising Pathankot and Gurdaspur districts with immediate effect.
The last date of filing nominations is September 22 and counting of votes will take place on October 15 and two days after that the polls code would end.
The election will be an acid test for chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and his party, six months after coming into power in the state. In the run-up to the election, the Congress had made promises such farm debt waiver and jobs for every household.
Two Bajwas from Gurdaspur – Punjab cabinet minister and Fatehgarh Churian MLA Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and former Punjab Congress president and now Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa — are keen to get party ticket for their kin.
While Tript Bajwa wants ticket for his son Ravi Nandan Singh Bajwa, Partap Bajwa is keen on fielding his wife Charanjeet Kaur, a former MLA.
With an eye on the bypoll, the two Bajwas are active in the parliamentary constituency after three-time MP Vinod Khanna passed away. The name of PPCC president Sunil Jkhar was also floated for contesting the polls.
Party insiders said other than the Bajwa families, the party high command could spring a surprise. Party insiders say CM Amarinder Singh would take a final decision on the matter.
The Shiromani Akali Dal SAD will give ticket to its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to which Khanna belonged. Besides former MP’s wife Kavita Khanna, local BJP leader Swaran Salaria is a frontrunner. Former BJP state unit president Ashwini Sharma and former chief parliamentary secretary Jagdish Sahni are also in the race.
Salaria, who owns an aviation company, hotels, a medical college and a security agency, has already begun campaigning by putting up banners and hoardings greeting residents on Independence Day and other occasions.
BJP state president Vijay Sampla has left it to national president Amit Shah to make the final decision. State presidents of both the BJP and the Congress were were not available for comments.
Aam Aadmi party (AAP) state unit president Bhagwant Mann said people of the constituency would decide the candidate, and a process has already begun. He said the party will field a “clean and educated face”.