Cong, AAP challenge Sukhbir in Jalalabad

Cong, AAP challenge Sukhbir in Jalalabad
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal may have won this constituency last time by a record 51,000 votes, but in 2017, he has to fight two heavyweight candidates fielded by the AAP and the Congress.

Notwithstanding the crores spent here on development projects and the VIP tag, Jalalabad appears a very different field. Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, grandson of slain chief minister Beant Singh, will challenge Sukhbir’s stranglehold on the seat, besides Bhagwant Mann, an MP and the AAP’s face.

A sleaze tape featuring Akali Dal rebel MP Sher Singh Gubhaya that has gone viral has changed the nature of the contest here. Gubhaya, an influencial leader among the Rai Sikhs who dominate the area, has thrown his weight firmly behind Bittu after the tape showing him in compromising position with a woman surfaced.

An erstwhile Sukhbir loyalist, Gubhaya now accuses him of playing dirty tricks. A Congress ticket to his son to contest from Fazilka meant he is now completely out of favour with the Akali leadership. But Bhagwant Mann –seen as the AAP’s chief ministerial candidate- is the one to watch out here.

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