Amarinder, Manpreet in Congress first list for Punjab polls

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) The Congress on Thursday released its much-awaited first list of 61 candidates for the coming Punjab assembly elections, with state Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh picked for the Patiala seat.

The party retained as candidates 31 of its 42 legislators. Cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was a noticable name missing from the list, released by Congress General Secretary Madhusudan Mistry.

Former Finance Minister in the SAD-BJP government Manpreet Singh Badal will fight from Bathinda Urban constituency.

The elections to the 117-member Punjab assembly will be held in early 2017.

Among other prominent leaders in the list are Charanjit Channi, the sitting lawmaker from Chamkaur Sahib (SC), Rajinder Kaur Bhattal from Lehra, Sunil Jakhar from Abohar, and O.P. Soni from Amritsar Central.

Former Lok Sabha member Vijay Inder Singla will contest from Sangrur. He lost the 2014 general elections from the Sangrur parliamentary constituency.

Former minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa will contest Fategarh Churian seat while Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli Majithia will fight the high-profile Majitha constituency. Rana Gurjit Singh will contest from Kapurthala.

Of the six women in the list, four have been fielded from Reserved constituencies of Firozepur Rural (Satkar Kaur), Mehal Kalan (Harchand Kaur, sitting MLA), Budhlada (Ranjit Kaur Batti) and Dinanagar (sitting MLA Aruna Chaudhary).

The other two are Razia Sultan from Malerkotla and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal from Lehra (sitting MLA).

At 25, Angad Saini, son of sitting Nawanshahr legislator Guriqbal Kaur Babli, is the youngest nominee in the first list.

The other new faces are Amar Singh (Raikot), Sukhwinder Singh Danny (Jandiala), Kulbir Singh Zira (Zira), Khushbaj Singh Jatana (Talwandi Sabo), Kuldip Singh Vaid (Gill) and Dalvir Singh Goldy (Dhuri).