Outfits grappling with rebellion in Punjab

With the upcoming Assembly polls in Punjab, most political parties are grappling with rebellion by leaders.

Chandigarh: 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 unsuccessfully 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

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

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.