With the upcoming Assembly polls in Punjab, most political parties, including Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal, are grappling with rebellion by leaders, who did not get tickets to contest the elections. It has been a tough task for the political outfits to manage the rebels as they appear set to tilt the balance during the polling on January 30 affecting the performance of the parties. Prof Darbari Lal, who won elections thrice and remained education minister and former deputy speaker of Punjab Assembly, is contemplating to fight as an Independent from Amritsar central. His Congress ticket has been given to O P Soni, who remained MLA thrice from Amritsar west which has now become a reserve seat after delimitation. From Amritsar south, Jasbir Singh Dimpa has been given the Congress ticket following which Harjinder Singh Thakedar, who won polls in 2002 and lost in 2007, and Navdeep Singh Goldy, who un-successfully contested the by-polls in 2008, have opposed the party’s decision to ignore them.
From Amritsar north, greenhorn Ashwani Pappu has been given the ticket ignoring district youth Congress general secretary Karamjit Singh Rintu. Former district rural Congress president Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lally has also been ignored by Congress while allotting ticket to sitting district rural Congress chief Shalinderjit Singh Shally. This led to revolt by Lally against the party’s decision. Be it Jalalabad, Kotkapura, Bathinda, Dharamkot and Bhadaur, the Congress is finding tough to manage the rebels. At Jalalabad, the Congress attempted to woo the Rai-Sikh community by allotting the ticket to greenhorn Malkiat Singh only to annoy former forest minister Hans Raj Joshan. Irked over the candidature of Ripjeet Singh Brar from Kotkapura, the Punjab Congress general secretary and former jail minister Upinder Sharma has announced to contest as an independent candidate. Ashok Sharma, former Congress MLA from Pathankot has also resigned from the primary membership of the party. He had announced to contest as an Independent.
He remained party MLA from 2002 to 2007 and sought a ticket from Pathankot. MLA Baldev Singh from Malout, Sukhdev Singh Chahal OSD to CLP leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal from Talwandi Saboo, Amarjeet Sharma from Ramphura Phul, Punjab Mahila Congress chief Malti Thapar from Dharamkot, Surinder Kaur from Bhadaur and Parkash Singh Bhattai from Balluana have also expressed their resentments in public over rejection of their claims by the party.
The picture is not rosy for the ruling SAD, too, as it is also facing the rebel factor.
In Dhuri, Surinder Singh is up in arms against party candidate Gobind Singh Longowal.
Sant Ajit Singh, who has been denied ticket from Rup Nagar too is sulking. Gurpartap Singh Tikka, SAD rebel, has announced to contest as an Independent from Amritsar south, whereas in Fatehgarh Sahib Didar Singh Bhatti has announced to contest as an Independent.
Balwinder Singh, who was SAD candidate for the Ludhiana south seat, has also announced to contest as rebel, while his brother Simarjit Singh has announced to contest as an Independent against minister Hira Singh Gabaria from the Atam Singh Nagar. Both have faced the music and were expelled from the party.
- Congress’ rebel list grows longer
- Beant Singh’s son Sarabjit Singh Khalsa to enter fray
- SGPC polls: SAD (Amritsar) to contest all seats
- Political parties drawing campaign strategies for Chandigarh MC polls
- Sant Ajit Singh quits SAD
- Congress leader Gurpreet Sing GP join PPP
- Trouble in Shiromani Akali Dal camp
- Congress would sweep Punjab elections: Amarinder
- Chiranji Lal Garg joined Congress
- SAD’s youth leader Simarjit Singh Bains to contest polls as rebel candidate