Rebel candidates rock the poll boat

Ticketless leaders in Punjab to contest as independents, may steal vote bank

With the upcoming Assembly polls in Punjab, most political parties, including Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal, are grappling with rebellion by leaders, who did not get tickets to contest the elections.

It has been a tough task for political outfits to manage the rebels as they appear set to tilt the balance during the poll on January 30, affecting the performanc of the parties.

Prof Darbari Lal, who won elections thrice and remained education minister and former deputy speaker of Punjab Assembly, is contemplating to fight as an Independent from Amritsar central.

His Congress ticket has been given to OP Soni, who remained MLA thrice from Amritsar (west) which has now become a reserved seat after delimitation. From Amritsar (south), Jasbir Singh Dimpa has been given the Congress ticket following which Harjinder Singh Thakedar, who won polls in 2002 and lost in 2007, and Navdeep Singh Goldy, who un-successfully contested the by-polls in 2008, have opposed the party's decision to ignore them.

From Amritsar (north), greenhorn Ashwani Pappu has been given the ticket ignoring district youth Congress general secretary Karamjit Singh Rintu. Former district rural Congress president Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lally has also been ignored by Congress while allotting a ticket to sitting district rural Congress chief Shalinderjit Singh Shally. This led to revolt by Lally against the party's decision.

Be it Jalalabad, Kotkapura, Bathinda, Dharamkot or Bhadaur, the Congress is finding tough to manage the rebels.

Shiromani Akali Dal

The picture is not rosy for the  SAD either, as it also faces the rebel factor. In Dhuri, Surinder Singh is up in arms against party candidate Gobind Singh Longowal. Sant Ajit Singh, who has been denied a ticket from Rup Nagar too is sulking. Gurpartap Singh Tikka, SAD rebel, has announced to contest as an Independent candidate from Amritsar (south), whereas in Fatehgarh Sahib Didar Singh Bhatti has also annonced his independent candidature.

Balwinder Singh, who was SAD candidate for the Ludhiana (south) seat, has also announced to contest as rebel. Similarly, his brother Simarjit Singh has announced to contest as an Independent against minister Hira Singh Gabaria from the Atam Singh Nagar. Both faced the music and were expelled from the party.

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