Ex-babus galore in Punjab, Haryana polls

Ex-babus galore in Punjab, Haryana polls

Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa, who recently joined BJP leaving the AAP, with other BJP leaders and workers during his Lalkar rally, in Amritsar, Sunday, April 7, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Breaking the norm, the states of Punjab and Haryana will witness a host of retired babus and professionals testing their electoral worth, not as potential candidates vying for a party ticket but as official party nominees.

Among them are two retired bureaucrat who have made the contest from Fatehgarh Sahib fascinating. The two ex-babus, who are friends as well as batchmates, are locked in a no-holds-barred contest from this parliamentary constituency in Punjab. 

Retired IAS officer, Dr Amar Singh, 63, is a Congress nominee. A close confidant of senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, he retired as principal secretary to the former CM of Madhya Pradesh. 

Challenging him from this reserved seat on a SAD-BJP ticket is his friend-turned-political foe, ex-IAS officer DS Guru, who also retired as principal secretary to former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal.

Guru would often visit Dr Singh’s house when in MP on an official assignment. Dr Amar Singh holds an MBBS degree.   

In fact, this constituency seems to have a penchant for retired bureaucrats. Sitting MP from here HS Khalsa is a retired IFS officer, who was elected to the seat in 2014 on an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket.

Former Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officer Sunita Duggal, who quit her job as the assistant commissioner of Income Tax, is the BJP candidate from the Sirsa reserved constituency in Haryana. She is the wife of a serving Haryana IPS officer. 

Haryana cadre IAS officer and former deputy commissioner of Chandigarh, Brijendra Singh, who is the son of Union Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh, is seen as a front-runner for the Hisar Lok Sabha seat. Former IAS officer Som Prakash, too, is among the forerunner for the Hoshiarpur seat in Punjab. 

Professional Punjabi folk singer, Mohd Sadique is Congress candidate from Faridkot. Noted cardiologist Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, who is the sitting MP from Patiala, is also in the fray again.  Former Army chief Gen JJ Singh is contesting from Khadur Sahib.

Punjab and Haryana account for nearly two dozen bureaucrats and police officers who owe allegiance to one or the other political party.