AAP zeroes in on 7 for Bathinda seat - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Monday, April 8, 2019

AAP zeroes in on 7 for Bathinda seat

AAP zeroes in on 7 for Bathinda seat

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7

The AAP has shortlisted seven candidates for the prestigious Bathinda LS seat.

The party has been deliberating on fielding a Hindu or a woman candidate to give tough fight to the Sikh nominees announced by the Akalis and the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA).

The seat has become a high-stake value for the AAP as its breakaway leader Sukhpal Khaira is contesting from the constituency representing the PDA.

Also, the Akali Dal is leaving no stone unturned to see the Badal bahu, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, win for the third consecutive time from the seat. The AAP had built his campaign in the state on the ‘anti-Badal’ rhetoric in Punjab since the last LS election in 2014. In the 2017 Assembly election, it had fielded top leaders, including MP Bhagwant Mann against Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal.

Party sources said the seven shortlisted candidates include Amit Lal Garg, a businessman; Dr Vijay Goel, a dentist; Jaskirat Mann, who held various positions in the NRI wing; Navdeep Singh, a local leader; and three sitting MLAs Baljinder Kaur (Talwandi Sabo), Rupinder Kaur Ruby (Bathinda rural) and Kultar Singh Sidhwan (Kotkapura).

Meanwhile, with the two woman MLAs in the list, the party may consider fielding one of them against Harsimrat. In the last election, the party had fielded singer Jassi Jasraj against her. He polled 87,901 votes as compared to over 5 lakh votes by Harsimrat.

Though no Hindu candidate has won the election from the seat so far, there is a thinking that this factor can weigh this year due to the possibility of the division of votes among the Jat Sikhs. The constituency has about 39 per cent Jat Sikh votes while the Hindus are nearly 20 per cent. Moreover, urban voters like those from the Bathinda Assembly seat have elected a Hindu candidate in four of the last five Assembly elections.

“We are waiting for the Congress to announce its candidate. The Akalis and the Congress are fighting a friendly match in Punjab. We have done ground studies and shortlisted suitable candidates. All of them have been working for the party since long,” said a AAP leader.

In ticket race

  • Amit Lal Garg, businessman
  • Dr Vijay Goel, dentist
  • Jaskirat Mann, working in the NRI wing
  • Navdeep Singh, local leader
  • Baljinder Kaur, Talwandi Sabo MLA
  • Rupinder Kaur Ruby, Bathinda (Rural) MLA
  • Kultar Singh Sidhwan, Kotkapura MLA

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