Dissent among Punjab Cong leaders over ticket distribution

Jalandhar, Jan 15 (PTI) With the Congress announcing the list of candidates for the Assembly elections in Punjab next month, the party is facing revolt over ticket distribution as some of the leaders contemplating to contest the polls independently.

The party’s third list which included the announcement of candidates contesting from Jalandhar west, Jalandhar north, Aadampur and Shahkot has exposed the disagreement over ticket distribution with some of the leaders opposing the authorised candidates, while some announcing to stand in the polls independently.

Congress has fielded Councillor Sushil Rinku from Jalandhar west who is facing opposition from former city mayor Surinder Mahe, as the latter opting to stand in the Assembly polls on his own.

Mahe said that he formulating a strategy to contest from the Jalandhar west seat independently and if the party does not take any decision over this issue, he will announce his decision soon.

In Aadampur former Jalandhar MP Mohinder Singh Kepi has been given the ticket by the Congress, whereas a local party leader has started protesting against the decision while terming Kepi as Anit-Dalit and an outsider.

Jagdish Jassal said that, “Kepi’s policies are anti-Dalit and he did not take any steps for the Viyana and Talhan issues. He is an outsider and no such candidate will be tolerated in the area”.

Jassal warned that if the party does not change the candidate from Aadampur, he will soon announce his action against the decision.
For Shahkot, Congress decided to field-in Hardev Singh Sharowalia for the Assembly elections instead of its local leader Navjot Dahiya, also the party’s state general secretary.

Dahiya fought the last Assembly polls with a ticket from PPP and was willing to contest for Congress this time after PPP’s merger with the party.

Even though Dahiya has not made any remarks over this decision, sources close to him say that he has worked a lot in the past five years but was still not given the ticket and “may make an explosive announcement in one or two days”.

Similarly, state vice president Avtaar Henry was stated to the contender for the ticket from Jalandhar north Assembly constituency, but was overlooked by the party as it chose Tejinder Singh Bittu after Henry’s name was removed from the electoral roll.

After Bittu was opted by the party to contest from the constituency, the party’s former MLA Rajkumar Gupta came out in the open to protest the move following which the ticket was given to him.

Sources say that even this decision can changed by Congress and Henry’s son Baba Henry may be the final candidate to fight from Jalandhar north.

Assembly elections in Punjab will ne held on February 4.