Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

Why So Long For Harsimrat! Kaypee Among 6 More SAD Candidates; Congress Names 2 Women

Panthic party’s unease evident in delaying most obvious choice

Given the drought of winnable candidates within its ranks, one would have thought that the re-nomination of three-time Member of Parliament and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal should have been Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)’s most obvious choice for re-nomination as its candidate from Bathinda.

But in not naming her in the first list of seven candidates, the party had exposed its sense of unease over her electoral prospects. However, left with no other choice, the party had to eventually declare her the party candidate from her traditional seat in its second list of six candidates for Punjab and lone Chandigarh seat, released on Monday (22.04.2024).

The reasons are not far to seek.

SAD was already facing a backlash especially in its rural strongholds because of the incidents of desecration of the holy ‘birs’ (forms) of Guru Granth Sahib during the last party government in the state, as well as the duplicity of its stand on the now repealed farm laws, which were called ‘black laws’ by the agitating farmers. It reflected in the party’s dismal performance in the 2022 assembly elections, which were swept by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The party, for the first time in decades, is facing an election in the state with its trusted ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) joining the ruling AAP and the Congress as its major electoral adversary. This has dealt a double blow to the party. Once drawing strength from the BJP’s hold in the urban areas, the party stands to lose this vote bank to the saffron party.

SAD’s top leadership has been depleting gradually ever since its tallest leader in recent times, Parkash Singh Badal made way for his son Sukhbir Singh Badal to take over reins of the party in 2008. The longest serving chief minister of the state and former union minister was Punjab’s Atal Behari Vajpayee of sorts, popular and always eager to take everybody along. The junior Badal has not quite acted like his father, resulting in many aggrieved senior leaders distancing themselves from the party. Though, after the 2022 electoral reverses, and his father’s death, he has tried to woo them back.

Not finding a winnable candidate from its own ranks for the Jalandhar (SC) seat, SAD in its second list of candidates, announced former senior Congress Dalit leader, Punjab Pradesh Congress president and Punjab minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee as its party candidate. Kaypee quit the Congress and was welcomed into the SAD by Sukhbir Singh Badal at the former’s residence. His candidature was declared there and then.

Why So Long For Harsimrat! Kaypee Among 6 More SAD Candidates; Congress Names 2 Women, Lifeinchd
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal welcoming former senior Congress Dalit leader Mohinder Singh Kaypee into the party fold in Jalandhar.

Putting a stamp on his decision not to seek re-election from Ferozepur constituency, Sukhbir Singh Badal announced Nardev Singh Mann @ Bobby Mann as the party candidate from the seat. He is the son of three-time MP Zora Singh Mann, who won the seat in 1998, 1999, 2004. SAD has held the seat since 1998.

Among other candidates announced, former Punjab minister and four time MLA Sohan Singh Thandal has been fielded from Hoshiarpur (SC) and ex-MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon from Ludhiana.

For the lone lok sabha seat in Chandigarh, the party has named its Chandigarh state party president Hardeep Singh Buterla as the party candidate. He is a three times running councilor of the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh and former senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor.

With this the SAD has named candidates to 12 of the 13 lok sabha constituencies in Punjab. A party candidate for the only remaining constituency, Khadoor Sahib is expected to be made soon.

Congress names 2 women candidates

Meanwhile, treading cautiously in the wake of continuing poaching attempts in the state, the Congress has bet on women candidates, in its second list of just two candidates from Punjab, taking its tally of candidates fielded in the elections so far to eight. It is still deliberating on the remaining five constituencies.

As per the fresh list, which also includes candidates for Bihar, the Congress has fielded Yamini Gomar from Hoshiarpur (SC) Lok Sabha seat while Amarjit Kaur Sahoke is the party candidate from Faridkot, replacing incumbent party MP and noted Punjabi folk singer/actor Muhammad Sadique.

This is surprising as the seat is going to witness an absorbing contest between stars from the Punjabi music and entertainment industry – famous Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans (BJP) and popular Punjabi singer/actor Karamjit Anmol (AAP).

Why So Long For Harsimrat! Kaypee Among 6 More SAD Candidates; Congress Names 2 Women, Lifeinchd
Yamini Gomar

Yamini Gomar is a former AAP leader, who unsuccessfully contested the 2014 general election from Hoshiarpur. A Dalit social activist, Gomar had received over 2.13 lakh votes, finishing third on the seat which was won by BJP’s Vijay Sampla. She had quit AAP in 2016 and joined the Congress. Though she did not get the Congress ticket in 2019, she was apparently rewarded for remaining loyalty towards the party.

Why So Long For Harsimrat! Kaypee Among 6 More SAD Candidates; Congress Names 2 Women, Lifeinchd
Amarjit Kaur Sahoke

Amarjit Kaur Sahoke, a former SAD leader, switched to the Congress ahead of the 2022 assembly elections in the state. She remained chairperson of Moga Zila Parishad from 2013-2018. Later she contested the assembly elections from Jagraon (SC) in 2017 as SAD candidate but finished third behind AAP and Congress candidates. After her switchover to the Congress, her husband Bhupinder Singh Sahoke was given the party ticket from Nihal Singh Wala, but he too lost by a big margin to the AAP, which swept the elections across the state.

Popular Articles