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Punjab parties reward turncoats with poll tickets

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
January 31, 2022 15:09 IST
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Several turncoats, cutting across political lines, have been rewarded with tickets by their new parties for the February 20 Assembly polls in Punjab.

IMAGE: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal with party leader Anil Joshi and others during his visit to Sri Ram Tirath temple, in Amritsar. Photograph: ANI Photo

Prominent among these include former sports minister and sitting MLA Gurmit Singh Sodhi, MLA Fatehjang Singh Bajwa and former minister Anil Joshi.

Sodhi, who was the sports minister in the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The saffron party has now fielded the four-time Guruharsahai MLA in Ferozepur district from Ferozepur City Assembly seat.


Another former Congress leader and MLA Fatehjang Singh Bajwa, who switched over to the saffron party, has been fielded from Batala.

Bajwa is a sitting legislator from Qadian.

The Congress has fielded his elder brother and Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa for the February 20 polls.

Former Punjab minister Anil Joshi, who quit the BJP and joined the Shiromani Akali Dal last year, will contest from Amritsar North Assembly seat. Joshi was the MLA from this constituency in 2007 and 2012.

He, however, faced defeat in the 2017 Assembly polls.

Sitting MLA and ex-Congress leader Harjot Kamal, who too joined the BJP, will contest from Moga.

Kamal quit the Congress after the party denied him the ticket from this constituency and chose to field Malvika Sood Sachar, sister of actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood, instead.

After joining the BJP last month, Kamal had said he worked wholeheartedly for the Congress for 21 years but the party ignored him.

"What is her qualification (Malvika Sood)? She is just Sonu Sood's sister," Kamal had then said.

Two-time MLA and former Congress leader Arvind Khanna, who recently joined the BJP, will contest from Sangrur.

Considered close to former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Khanna had quit the Congress in 2015.

Former Punjab minister and three-time MLA Joginder Singh Mann, who joined the Aam Aadmi Party after snapping his 50-year-old ties with the Congress, will be fighting from Phagwara.

Before joining the AAP, Mann in an emotive letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had written, "The Maharajas, landlords, moneybags and opportunist leaders like Captain Amarinder Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu and others came in the party for sake of vested political interests due to which the party had drifted from its core values and focus shifted merely to contest the polls and grab power."

Two-time minister in the Congress government Hans Raj Josan, who left the grand old party and joined the SAD, will contest from Fazilka seat.

Former AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira has been fielded from Bholath seat.

Khaira, who had floated his own party after quitting the AAP in 2019, re-joined the Congress in June last year. In 2015, he had switched over to the AAP from the Congress.

Sitting MLA from Bathinda Rural Rupinder Kaur Ruby, who joined the Congress last year after quitting the AAP, has been given the ticket for Malout seat.

Another sitting legislator Jagtar Singh Jagga from Raikot will contest from Jagraon.

Jagga left the AAP and joined the Congress.

Former Congress MLA Mohinder Kumar Rinwa, who last year came into the SAD fold, will fight from Abohar.

The BJP has fielded former SAD MLA Sarabjit Singh Makkar from Jalandhar Cantonment. Makkar shifted allegiance to the BJP after the SAD denied him the ticket for this constituency.

Former Akali MLA Didar Singh Bhatti, who joined the BJP, will fight elections from Fatehgarh Sahib seat.

Former Punjab AAP convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who joined the SAD last year, will contest from Batala.

Laali Majithia, who joined the AAP after leaving the Congress early this month, has been fielded from Majitha constituency in Amritsar.

Raman Bahl, who left the Congress last year and joined the AAP, will fight from Gurdaspur.

Former MLA Mohan Lal Banga, who recently joined the BJP after quitting the Congress, has been fielded from Banga constituency while former Congress leader Nimisha Mehta, who too joined the saffron party, will contest from Garhshankar.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.