Denied a Congress ticket, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s brother Dr Manohar Singh on Sunday announced that he will contest as an independent from the Bassi Pathana constituency, where the Congress has fielded its sitting MLA Gurpreet Singh.
Manohar’s claim was denied apparently because of the party’s ‘one family, one ticket’ rule. Channi did not immediately react. Bassi Pathana falls in the Puaadh cultural region of Punjab and is seen as the home turf of Channi and his clan.
In its first list of 86 candidates, the Congress gave the ticket to sitting legislator Gurpreet Singh GP, who is considered close to state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Speaking to PTI, Singh said that several prominent people of Bassi Pathana area had asked him to fight as an independent. “I will go by what they have said. There is no chance of going back and I will surely fight the polls,” he added.
He said he took the decision of contesting as an independent after meeting several councillors, village sarpanch and panch who asked him to fight the polls.
“People told me it was wrong to give the ticket to him (Gurpreet Singh GP). He had earlier not done anything and now he has again been foisted upon,” said Singh. He also said he will talk to his brother Channi and convince him about his decision.
In Malout and Moga, the Congress denied tickets to sitting legislator — Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Ajaib Singh Bhatti and Harjot Kamal respectively.
The party is yet to declare its candidate for the Patiala Urban constituency which was represented by former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. The party will also declare its remaining 31 seats for the 117-member Assembly soon.
Punjab Assembly elections are slated in a single phase on February 14 and the results will be out on March 10.