Captain Amarinder Singh releases first list of 22 candidates, to contest from Patiala

Captain Amarinder SinghImage Credit: Udayavani

Captain Amarinder Singh, the former chief minister of Punjab and the leader of the Punjab Lok Congress (PLC), announced the first list of his party’s candidates for the February 20 assembly elections on Sunday, declaring that he will contest again from his home constituency of Patiala Urban.

As part of its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal, the party, which has announced former Indian hockey team captain Ajit Pal Singh as its nominee from Nakodar, has been granted 37 of the total 117 seats (Sanyukt). Several former Congress leaders, the party Capt Amarinder quit after being removed from the chief minister’s post four months ago, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) are among the candidates declared by the former chief minister.

Despite Capt Amarinder’s claims that several sitting MLAs and cabinet members would join his party, none have signed on or are on the list. Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Fatehjung Bajwa, and Harjot Kamal, three sitting MLAs who left the Congress in recent weeks, have all joined his alliance partner, the BJP.

“We have given a good set of candidates with a clear focus on winnability while ensuring due representation across regions and various sections of the society,” Captain Amarinder Singh said while releasing the first list of candidates at a virtual press conference. He stated that discussions with the BJP for five more seats are still going on. According to the current arrangement, the BJP will contest for 67 seats and the SAD (Sanyukt) for 13. Twenty-six of the PLC’s 37 seats are in the Malwa region, seven in Majha, and four in Doaba.

Farzana Alam Khan, a former SAD legislator, and wife of late DGP Izhar Alam Khan is contesting for the PLC in Malwa. She is the only female candidate in the field. Eight Jat Sikhs are on the party’s list, four from the SC group, three from the OBC community, and five from the Hindu community. Sanjeev Sharma, the current mayor of Patiala and a former head of the District Youth Congress, is another candidate from the Malwa region. He will contest for the Patiala Rural seat.

Former PPCC secretary and PLC general secretary in-charge organization Kamaldeep Saini has been fielded from Kharar, while Jagmohan Sharma, former president of the Ludhiana District Congress Committee, will run from Ludhiana East. Satinderpal Singh Tajpuri, the son of a previous cooperative minister in the SAD government, will run for the Ludhiana South seat.

Prem Mittal, a former SAD MLA from Mansa and former senior deputy mayor of Ludhiana, has been nominated as the PLC candidate in Atamnagar, while Damanjeet Singh Mohi, an active Youth Congress functionary and former chairman of the Mullanpur Market Committee, has been nominated as the PLC candidate in Dakha. Mukhtiar Singh, a retired PPS officer, has been posted to Nihalsinghwala.

Surinder Singh Kherki, a former Punjab Congress secretary, will contest for Sanaur, while Bikramjit Inder Singh Chahal, the son of Captain Amarinder Singh’s close associate and advisor BIS Chahal, will contest from Samana.

Tejinder Singh Randhawa, former vice-president of DCC Gurdaspur, has been nominated for Fatehgarh Churrian, while former MLA Harjinder Singh Thekedar has been nominated for Amritsar South. Former Punjab Congress spokesperson Amandeep Singh has been fielded from Bholath, and Satvir Singh Palli Jhikki has been fielded from Nawanshahr in Doaba.

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By TIS Staffer
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