Lok Sabha elections: Two Hindu leaders among Akali Dal's first list of seven candidates

Former BJP minister Anil Joshi has been fielded by the Akali Dal from Amritsar against BJP candidate Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who was India's Ambassador to the United States.
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal (File Photo | PTI)
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal (File Photo | PTI)

CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday released its first list of seven candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Party bigwigs Daljit Singh Cheema and Prem Singh Chandumajra have found a place in the first list. For the first time in more than two decades, the party will be contesting the Amritsar and Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seats.

Interestingly two Hindu leaders have been given tickets by the panthic party. Former BJP minister Anil Joshi has been fielded from Amritsar against BJP candidate Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who was India's Ambassador to the United States. This is a strategic move by the Akali Dal to tap into the urban Hindu electorate while leveraging his political experience. Earlier, BJP leaders Hardeep Puri and Arun Jaitley had unsuccessfully contested from Amritsar in 2019 and 2014.

In Patiala, two-time former Dera Bassi MLA and realtor NK Sharma has been given the ticket. Patiala will witness a tough contest with the BJP fielding former Congress MP Preneet Kaur, while the ruling Aam Aadmi Party has already announced the candidature of state health minister Dr Balbir Singh. The Congress is likely to field former AAP MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, who joined the party recently.

Senior leader Daljit Singh Cheema has been fielded from Gurdaspur. His native village of Cheema falls in this district where he spent the first ten years of his political career. Cheema, who was the education minister in the SAD-BJP government, had been eyeing the ticket from Anandpur Sahib as was an MLA from there.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal (File Photo | PTI)
Ex-SGPC chief Jagir Kaur returns to Shiromani Akali Dal on eve of LS polls

The party has expressed confidence in former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra by fielding him once again from Anandpur Sahib. He had won from here in 2014 but lost to Manish Tewari of the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

From Fatehgarh Sahib, the SAD has fielded Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, while Rajwinder Singh, grandson of Gurdev Singh Badal, will contest from Faridkot and Iqbal Singh Jhoonda is the party candidate from Sangrur.

Taking to X, senior party leader and former minister Daljit Singh Cheema said, "Choosing the historic & pious occasion of ‘Khalsa Sirjana Divas’ as the most suited day to sound the poll bugle, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal released the first list of candidates.”

In the 2019 elections, the Congress had won eight of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the Akali Dal and BJP two each and the AAP 1. In the last Lok Sabha polls, the BJP and Akali Dal were allies, with the BJP winning two of the three seats assigned to it and the Akali Dal winning two of the 10 seats it contested.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com