CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Congress has received 170 applications seeking tickets for 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state, most of them from kin of ministers and MLAs.The maximum number of applications has been received from the reserved Faridkot and Fatehgarh Sahib seats, followed by Anandpur Sahib and Ferozepur. Two applications have been received for Patiala and Gurdaspur seats.
Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and his son Anumit Hira Sodhi have applied for Ferozepur. MLA Harpartap Ajnala and his son Kanwar Partap Singh have applied for the Amritsar seat. Surjit Singh Kohli, ex-PM Manmohan Singh’s brother, also wants to contest from Amritsar.
While ex-MLA Kewal Dhillon has applied for ticket from Sangrur, his son Karanveer has applied from Anandpur Sahib. Former Union Minister Santosh Chaudhary and her daughter Namita Chaudhary have staked claims on Hoshiarpur.
A state Congress leader said, “The party high command has ordered the state unit to avoid shortlisting names of relatives of senior party leaders and not to recommend them to the selection body unless there is no other strong candidate.”
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said a meeting of the senior leaders will be held to shortlist the candidates. Interestingly, while Jakhar, who is the Gurdaspur MP, is contender from there again, party’s general secretary Amardeep Singh Cheema has also applied for a ticket from the seat. The opposition parties criticised the Congress for promoting “dynastic politics”.