Congress names candidates for 6 LS seats in Punjab, fields Charanjit Channi from Jalandhar


PTI, Apr 15, 2024, 8:32 AM IST

Chandigarh: The Congress on Sunday named its candidates for six Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, fielding former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, along with two sitting MPs, an MLA and a former MP.

The party has fielded Channi from the Jalandhar (SC) seat and sitting MPs Gurjeet Singh Aujla and Amar Singh from the Amritsar and the Fatehgarh Sahib (SC) seats respectively.

The Congress nominated MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira from the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, former MP Dharamvira Gandhi from Patiala and former MLA Jeet Mohinder Sidhu from Bathinda.

Polling on all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state will take place in the last phase on June 1.

The Congress bet on Channi from the Jalandhar (SC) seat despite opposition from Phillaur MLA Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary. A few days ago, Chaudhary even resigned as the party’s chief whip in the Punjab Assembly.

Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary, the son of two-time Congress MP Santokh Chaudhary, had pointed towards Channi’s electoral defeats from both the Chamkaur Sahib and Bhadaur segments he had contested in the 2022 Punjab Assembly polls.

Santokh Chaudhary died in January last year during Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

His wife Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary had unsuccessfully contested the Jalandhar parliamentary bypoll in May last year.

Channi belongs to the Scheduled Castes community which makes up nearly 32 per cent of Punjab’s population. He represented the Chamkaur Sahib Assembly constituency in 2007, 2012 and 2017.

Channi became the chief minister of Punjab in 2021 after the Congress replaced Amarinder Singh with him.

The BJP has fielded sitting MP Sushil Rinku from the Jalandhar (SC) seat. Although AAP is yet to name its candidate, former Akali MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu, who joined the party on Sunday, is likely to be the party’s nominee.

The Congress fielded sitting MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla from Amritsar.

Former deputy chief minister and MLA O P Soni’s name was also doing rounds for this seat.

Aujla won the Amritsar seat in the 2017 bypolls and was elected again in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

AAP has fielded Cabinet minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal from the Amritsar seat. The Shiromani Akali Dal has named former MLA Anil Joshi as its candidate and the BJP Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

Sitting MP from the Fatehgarh Sahib (SC) seat Amar Singh, a former bureaucrat, has been renominated by the Congress.

In 2019, Singh defeated SAD candidate Darbara Singh Guru from the constituency.

In the Sangrur seat, the Congress showed its faith in All India Kisan Congress chairman and MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

Khaira, a firebrand leader, was elected as MLA in 2007 and 2017 from the Bholath seat. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

AAP has fielded Cabinet minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer from the Sangrur seat, currently represented by Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) MP Simranjit Singh Mann.

The Congress has fielded former AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi from the Patiala Lok Sabha seat. Gandhi, a doctor by profession, joined the party recently.

Gandhi won the Lok Sabha election as an AAP candidate in 2014, defeating the Congress’ Preneet Kaur from Patiala.

After quitting AAP in 2016, he had formed his own political outfit Nawan Punjab Party, which he merged with the Congress.

Gandhi has been pitted this time against BJP nominee Preneet Kaur and AAP candidate Dr Balbir Singh.

From the Bathinda seat, the Congress has named former MLA from Talwandi Sabo Jeet Mohinder Sidhu.

Sidhu rejoined the Congress last year after quitting the Shiromani Akali Dal.

The Bathinda seat is currently held by SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal. AAP has fielded Cabinet minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian from the seat.

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