Polls in Punjab a family affair
Chandigarh: The Congress in Punjab may well have finalised candidates for the Jan 30 assembly elections based on the ability to win but, with numerous family members in the fray, the list is an embarrassing giveaway -- `relatively` speaking, of course.
From the son of state Congress president Amarinder Singh, Raninder Singh, to Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal`s son-in-law, Vikram Singh Bajwa, several relatives of important politicians figure in the list of 114 candidates announced late Thursday night for the state`s 117 assembly seats.
Most relatives of Congress leaders in the fray are first-timers.
Congress MPs from Punjab seem to have got a lion`s share as far as seats for close relatives are concerned.
Gurdaspur Lok Sabha MP Pratap Singh Bajwa has managed a Congress ticket for the Qadian assembly seat in Gurdaspur district for his wife Charanjit Kaur Bajwa.
The Lok Sabha MP from Jalandhar, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, has got the Jalandhar-West (reserved) seat for his wife, Suman Kaypee.
Hoshiarpur MP Santosh Chaudhary`s husband, Ram Lubhaya, who had lost the 2007 assembly election, has again been fielded from the Sham Churasi (reserved) seat in Hoshiarpur district.
Besides being former chief minister Amarinder Singh`s son, Raninder Singh, who has been fielded from the Samana seat in Patiala district, is also the son of Patiala Lok Sabha seat MP and union minister of state for external affairs, Preneet Kaur.
Another Amarinder Singh relative, Arvind Khanna, also one of his closest aides, is the Congress candidate from the Dhuri seat in Sangrur district. Khanna had been charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a Delhi court in a foreign exchange scandal earlier this year.
Bhattal`s son-in-law has been fielded by the party from the Sahnewal seat in Ludhiana district.
Gurkirat Singh Kotli, who is the Congress candidate from the Khanna seat, is the grandson of former chief minister Beant Singh and son of former minister Tej Prakash Singh. He is also a cousin of Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Singh Bittu.
Gurkirat Singh was an accused in the molestation case of a French woman in Chandigarh in 1992.
Former state Congress president Shamsher Singh Dullo`s wife, Harbans Kaur Dullo, a former legislator, has been fielded from the Bassi Pathana (reserved) seat.
Muktsar candidate Karan Kaur Brar is the daughter-in-law of former chief minister Harcharan Singh Brar and wife of legislator Sunny Brar.
Aman Arora, son of former minister Bhagwan Dass Arora, has been fielded from the Sunam seat.
Former Lok Sabha speaker Balram Jakhar`s son, Sunil Jakhar, is again the Congress candidate from the Abohar seat.
Two brothers, Santokh Singh (Phillaur) and Jagjit Singh (Kartarpur), also figure again in the Congress list. Santokh Singh`s son, Vikramjit Singh, is the state Youth Congress president.
Then there is Ripjit Brar, the brother of senior Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar, has been fielded from the Kotkapura seat in Faridkot district.
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