Chandigarh, January 16
A day after Congress announced the first slate of 86 candidates for the Punjab Assembly ballot, the party struggled to contain the rebellion as one of its ticket contenders switched to the BJP while another jumped into the polls as an independent.
Sulky kaypee can get adampur seat
- Bouder Mohinder Kaypee, ex-CCP chief, could get Adampur
- The seat was awarded in the first list to Sukhwinder Kotli
- Channi, Sidhu, among others meet Kaypee at his residence after warning of ‘tough measures’ if Kotli is not replaced
Hectic talks continued throughout the day to appease the rebels even as the Congressional nominating committee held discussions to finalize the names of the remaining 31 seats for the February 14 ballot. CM Charanjit Channi’s brother, Dr. Manohar Singh, who was denied Bassi Pathana’s reserved segment ticket, has announced his candidacy as a freelancer. We learn that Channi supported the candidacy of his brother.
Dr Manohar, who recently quit as Chief Medical Officer, has accused incumbent MP Gurpreet Singh GP, PPCC leader Navjot Sidhu and a few others of conspiring against him.
Nimisha Mehta, whose candidacy was endorsed by Channi of Garhshankar, joined the BJP today. Moga MLA Dr Harjot Kamal had moved to BJP last night. Spelling more trouble for the party, former PPCC leader Mohinder Kaypee warned to take “tough action” if Adampur candidate Sukhwinder Kotli is not replaced.
Kaypee is linked to Channi and we learn that the CM also beat for his candidacy. According to reports, Kaypee could also join the BJP. Senior Dalit leader Dr. Raj Kumar Verka, Channi, Sidhu and Congress state official Harish Chaudhary learned to meet Kaypee at his residence to appease him. Sources said that Kaypee could replace Adampur’s Kotli as the selection committee members have reached consensus on the matter.
In the case of Bassi Pathana and Adampur, the allocation of tickets is believed to be the result of a rivalry between Channi and Sidhu, although the party cited “earnings surveys” as the reason for selecting the candidates. “As the pressure mounts, Congress may be forced to revise the allocation of tickets in a few seats, especially in Doaba,” a senior official said.
More so, the party has yet to announce the controversial seats of Bhoa, Phagwara, Banga, Jalalabad, Patiala (urban) and Fazilka.