CHANDIGARH: With the announcement of the high-profile Amritsar Lok Sabha by-election to be held along with the state assembly polls, slated for February 4, lobbying amongst ticket aspirants has intensified. It will primarily be a triangular contest with ruling SAD-BJP alliance, opposition Congress and AAP fielding candidates.
All parties plan to field a local Sikh face. Sixty-four per cent of the voters are Sikhs and traditionally only Sikhs have won this seat.
This seat fell vacant following Congress MP and Punjab Congress Chief Capt Amarinder Singh tendering his resignation over the SYL issue. The Congress chief ministerial candidate is keen on contesting from his traditional MLA seat of Patiala.
Former cricketer-turned comedian and Ex-BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu is all set to join the Congress in the next two days on January 9. He had remained MP from this seat three times.
In his absence, the Congress’s OP Soni, Swinder Singh Kathunangal, Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Parneet Kaur wife of Capt Amarinder Singh, Navjot Kaur Sidhu wife of Navjot Singh Sidhu or some outsiders are vying for the ticket.
On the other hand with Union Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley who lost the election in 2014 to Capt Amarinder Singh by 1.25 lakh votes seems not interested in testing the waters again. Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, Kamal Sharma and Tarun Chugh are flexing muscles for the party ticket.
AAP would also contest the seat for the first time.
The party has some local leaders including Sikh faces Jaswinder Singh and Dr Inderbitr Singh Nijjar who might be asked to contest from Amritsar.