CHANDIGARH: Former bureaucrats, ex-police officers and former army men have jumped into the election fray in Punjab as they try their luck in the high-stake assembly polls in the state on February 4.
They are fielded by all major political parties, including Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, who served as Deputy Commissioner of Mohali for about three years, has been fielded by SAD from Mohali. Sidhu quit as Secretary of Punjab Mandi Board before taking the electoral plunge.
Didhu, 59, son-in-law of senior Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, was a former army officer and was selected to Punjab Civil Services in 1989 and was elevated to the Indian Administrative Service in 2012.
Former army chief and former governor General J J Singh has thrown his hat into the election ring by joining hands with SAD and will take on Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh (himself an army man) from Patiala (Urban) seat.
J J Singh, 71, on Saturday joined SAD and exuded confidence he would pull off a "historic win" against Amarinder.
AAP, which is eyeing to wrest power from the SAD-BJP in Punjab, has fielded former police officers and Arjuna awardees Kartar Singh and Sajjan Singh Cheema from Tarn Taran and Sultanpur Lodhi respectively. Both served as Superintendents of Police in Punjab.
Congress has given a ticket to former IAS officer Kuldeep Singh Vaid from Gill assembly seat in Ludhiana. Vaid, 56, was serving as Deputy Commissioner of Moga before being fielded by Congress.
Former IAS officer and MLA from Jagraon S R Kaler has been nominated from Nihal Singh Wala by the Akalis.
Meanwhile, AAP has also given tickets to former army officers, Captain Bikramjit Singh Pahuwindia, 47, a Shaurya Chakra awardee from Khemkaran seat and Brigadier (Retd) Raj Kumar from Balachaur seat while Captain Gurbinder Singh Kang, a commercial pilot, has been fielded from Baghapuarna.
Former IAS officer D S Guru, who had remained Principal Secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, has been given a ticket from Bassi Pathana. Considered loyal to Badal, Guru lost in 2012 assembly polls from Bhadaur seat.