Punjab polls: BJP to contest 65 seats, Captain Amarinder Singh's PLC gets 37 seats, says JP Nadda

Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday announced his newly-formed Punjab Lok Congress' first list of 22 candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state

FP Staff January 24, 2022 16:56:37 IST
Punjab polls: BJP to contest 65 seats, Captain Amarinder Singh's PLC gets 37 seats, says JP Nadda

File image of JP Nadda. PTI

The BJP in Punjab will contest on 65 Assembly seats, marinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress  37 seats and the SAD (Sanyukt) 17 seats, BJP chief JP Nadda said on Monday announcing the seat-sharing agreement between his party and its allies for the 20 February polls.

Hailing Punjab as a "leader", especially in defence and food security of the country, Nadda said, "Today Punjab needs special attention, it needs a double engine government and a better coordination between the Centre and the state."

According to a report by PTI, Nadda announced the seat sharing agreement at a press conference at the BJP headquarters in the presence of Punjab Lok Congress supremo Amarinder Singh and Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.

"I am announcing a broader seat sharing agreement, BJP will contest on 65 seats, PLC on 37 seats and SAD (Sanyukt) on 15 seats," Nadda said.

Speaking at the same conference, Singh said for the sake of national security and welfare of the state, all three parties have come together. Nadda said Punjab is a border state and security is a very important issue as far as assembly elections are concerned, as per PTI.

Amarinder's PLC on Sunday announced its first list of candidates. The former Punjab chief minister added that the second list is likely to be released in two days.

"Out of 22 candidates- 2 candidates from Majha, 3 from Doaba and 17 from Malwa region. The second list is likely to be released in two days," he added.

Of the 37 seats in the PLC kitty, the maximum of 26 are from the Malwa region, which Captain Amarinder had single-handedly transformed into a game-changer for the Congress in the 2007 polls with his ground-breaking Water Termination Act of 2004 as well as the introduction of BT cotton.

More recently, it was Captain Amarinder's strong and unequivocal support to the agitating farmers in the region, which was the epicentre of their protest before it shifted to the Delhi borders, that played a decisive role in the final outcome to the issue. The former Chief Minister's hand is being seen in the eventual revocation of the Farm Laws by the Centre. What's more, Captain Amarinder has strong family ties with the region, which used to be part of the erstwhile royal estate of Patiala, as per ANI.

The PLC's share in seat allocation for the Majha region currently stands at 7, while the Doaba region accounts for four seats.

Releasing the first list of nominees, the PLC leader said all these candidates have strong political credentials and are well-known faces in their respective constituencies. There is one woman in this first list. Farzana Alam Khan, a former SAD MLA and wife of late DGP Izhar Alam Khan, will contest from Malerkotla in the Malwa region.

ANI's report said that besides Singh, who had on Saturday itself announced his decision to fight from his home constituency of Patiala Urban, there are eight other Jat Sikhs in the well balanced first list. Four of the candidates belong to the SC community, three to the OBC community, while five are Hindu faces (three Pandits and two Aggarwals).

In addition to Singh and Alam, another key candidate from the Malwa region is the current Mayor of MC Patiala, Sanjeev Sharma alias Bittu Sharma, who was President of District Youth Congress for a number of years. Sharma will contest the Patiala Rural seat.

Kamaldeep Saini, former PPCC secretary, former Chairman Cooperative Bank Punjab and General Secretary in-charge (Org) PLC, has been finalised as the candidate from Kharar, while Jagmohan Sharma, who was President of District Congress Committee, Ludhiana and is currently PLC district president, has been selected for Ludhiana East. The Ludhiana South seat will be represented in PLC by Satinderpal Singh Tajpuri, the son of a former Cooperation Minister in the erstwhile SAD government, ANI said.

Prem Mittal, a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ex-MLA from Mansa and former Sr Deputy Mayor of Ludhiana, will contest from Atamnagar, while Damanjeet Singh Mohi, an active Youth Congress functionary who has formerly been Sarpanch, Zila Parishad member and Chairman of Market Committee Mullanpur, will fight from the Dakha seat.

A popular Dalit face and a retired PPS officer, Mukhtiar Singh has been nominated for the party ticket from the reserved constituency of Nihal Singh Wala. The Dharamkot seat ticket has gone to Ravinder Singh Garewal, an advocate, agriculturist and businessman. Dr Amarjeet Sharma, a medical practitioner who has been working at the grassroots for over a decade, has been pitched from Rampura Phul.

As reported by ANI, an established businessman, transporter and agriculturist, Raj Nambardar is a prominent Hindu face from Bathinda and will contest the polls from Bathinda Urban. Incidentally, his father Dev Raj Nambardar also contested from Bathinda in 1985. Bathinda Rural, a reserved constituency, will be contested by Sawera Singh, son of late MLA Makhan Singh and currently Vice Chairman, Punjab Water Resources Management Corporation.

The PLC candidate from another reserved seat, Budhalada, is Subedar Bhola Singh Hasanpur, who served the Indian Army for 28 years and was unanimously elected Sarpanch of his village. Three-time Municipal Councillor and former member Improvement Trust, Barnala as well as ex-President SC Wing of SAD, Dharam Singh Fauji has been selected as the PLC candidate from Bhadaur (SC).

The Sanaur seat will be contested by business and youth social activist Bikramjit Inder Singh Chahal, son of Capt. Amarinder Singh's close associate and advisor BIS Chahal, with the Samana candidature going to Surinder Singh Kherki, Secretary, PPCC and former Member of Panchayat Samiti.

In the Majha region, Tejinder Singh Randhawa @ Beauty Randhawa, former Vice President of DCC Gurdaspur, is the candidate for Fatehgarh Churrian, while ex-MLA and former Chairman of Forests Corporation as well as BACKFINCO, Harjinder Singh Thekedar, will fight the Amritsar South seat, ANI said.

The first list of candidates from the Doaba region includes Amandeep Singh alias Gora Gill, former Punjab Congress spokesperson, for Bholath, and former Indian Hockey Team captain, Ajitpal Singh, for Nakodar.

With inputs from ANI

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