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Punjab

Two retired HC judges, a former babu eyeing this panthic bastion

March 01, 2019 05:35 AM

COURTESY HT MARCH 1

Gurpreet Singh Nibber ■ gurpreet.nibber@hindustantimes.com
Two retired HC judges, a former babu eyeing this panthic bastion
Ticket contenders think failure of sitting MP Harinder Singh Khalsa to do anything substantial on the ground in the last five years will work to their advantage
CHANDIGARH: The Fatehgarh Sahib parliamentary seat, which was carved out from at least three constituencies during the 2008 delimitation, is considered a panthic citadel since it is home to the gurdwara where two Sahibzadas of 10th Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh attained martyrdom.

Even so, the Congress, the ruling party in Punjab, thinks it too has a high stake in the segment since it claims to have carried out most of the development in the area during its present and past tenures.

Those eyeing to contend from the seat think the failure of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s sitting MP Harinder Singh Khalsa to do anything substantial on the ground in the last five years will work to their advantage.

Dr Amar Singh, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, is being seen as a frontrunner for Congress ticket. An MBBS degree holder from Amritsar Medical College, he has worked in various positions at the Centre, including heading the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

Confident of his victory if given ticket, Singh, who unsuccessfully contested the 2017 assembly polls from Raikot, says, “Yes I have applied for ticket and would like to represent my party

(Congress) and the constituency in Parliament.”

Congress’ Bassi Pathana MLA Gurpreet Singh GP and Payal MLA Lakhbir Singh Lakha Payal are also in the race for party ticket.

The two MLAs claim to have their ear to the ground and a firm grip on the grassroots workers. Former MLA Malkiat Singh

Dakha, who lost the election thrice, is also angling for ticket.

Having taken decision to field former speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal from the Jalandhar seat, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is likely to choose between Bikram Singh Khalsa, a member in the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) and Justice (retd) Nirmal Singh, the party’s former

candidate from the constituency.

From the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Justice Zora Singh (retired), who recently joined the party fold, and volunteers Baljinder Singh Chaunda from Raikot and Santokh Singh Salana, who contested the 2017 polls from Bassi Pathana, are top contenders. Chaunda and Salana are party general secretaries.

As per an arrangement in the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA), a conglomeration of the Sukhpal Singh Khaira-led Punjabi Ekta Party, Akali Dal splinter group SAD (Taksali), Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) and Bahujan Samaj Party, the seat will go in LIP’s kitty. The SAD (Taksali) has nearly snapped its association with PDA after differences emerged as who will field candidate from the Anandpur Sahib seat

 
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