Former chief minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday announced the first list of his party Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) candidates from 22 constituencies for the February 20 state assembly elections, with ex-captain of Indian hockey team Ajit Pal Singh entering the fray from Nakodar.
”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,” the PLC chief, who will contest from his Patiala Urban seat, said here.
The PLC has been allotted 37 to contest out of the 117 seats in the state as part of its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and SAD (Sanyukt), with discussions still in progress on possibly another five seats for the party, he said.
Of the 37 seats in the PLC kitty, the maximum of 26 is from the Malwa region of the state.
The PLC’s share in seat allocation for the Majha region currently stands at seven, while the Doaba region accounts for four seats.
From Doaba, Ajit Pal Singh will enter the fray from Nakodar, which falls in Jalandhar district from where another former India hockey team captain and Punjab minister Pargat Singh is a sitting legislator from the Cantt seat.
The first list of candidates from the Doaba region includes Amandeep Singh alias Gora Gill, former Punjab Congress spokesperson, for Bholath.
Satvir Singh Palli Jhikki, who has been selected for Nawanshahr, is Chairman, District Planning Board, Nawanshahr and former President, PYC, District Nawanshahr, according to the statement released by the party.
The Majha region is northward from the banks of river Beas, while the Doaba region lies between rivers Beas and Sutlej. The Malwa region lies south of the Sutlej river.
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 among the candidates. Farzana Alam Khan, a former SAD MLA and wife of late DGP Izhar Alam Khan, will contest from Malerkotla in the Malwa region.
Amarinder Singh had on Saturday itself announced his decision to fight from his home constituency of Patiala Urban.
The party’s list of candidates includes eight who are Jat Sikhs, four belong to the SC community, three to the OBC community, while five are Hindu faces.
In addition to Amarinder and Farzana Alam, another candidate from the Malwa region is Sanjeev Sharma alias Bittu Sharma, who was the president of the 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 (Organisation) PLC, has been finalised as the candidate from Kharar.
Jagmohan Sharma, who was President of District Congress Committee, Ludhiana and is currently PLC district president, has been selected for Ludhiana East, as per a party statement.
The Ludhiana South seat will be contested by Satinderpal Singh Tajpuri, the son of a former Cooperation Minister in the erstwhile SAD government.
Prem Mittal, a SAD ex-MLA from Mansa and former Senior 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, said the statement.
”A popular Dalit face and a retired PPS officer, Mukhtiar Singh has been nominated for the party ticket from the reserved constituency of Nihalsingh 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,” it said.
Among other candidates, the Sanaur seat will be contested by Bikramjit Inder Singh Chahal, son of 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.