The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday released the list of 69 candidates, with 25 per cent new faces, for the Assembly elections due early next year.
While SAD will contest on 94 out of the total of 117 seats, its ally BJP on the remaining seats.
While releasing the list, party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal announced that Punjab’s Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa would contest from Lehra instead of Sunam, the constituency he currently represents and all other ministers will contest from their current constituencies.
However, interestingly, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who represents Lambi constituency, and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, who represents Jalalabad constituency, do not figure in the first list.
According to reports, the list of 69 candidates has sons of at least four senior party leaders, who are either MPs or have decided to hang their boots.
Among the big move, SAD has dropped liquor baron and sitting Faridkot MLA Deep Malhotra, replacing him with youth leader and Students Organisation of India coordinator Parambans Singh Bunty Romana, one of the 17 new faces who would contest polls on SAD tickets for the first time, according to a report in The Indian Express.
Punjab Police’s Deputy Inspector General Ranbir Singh Khatra’s son Satbir Singh Khatra would also contest on a SAD ticket for the first time. He has been chosen as the party candidate for Patiala Rural.
Another new face who would be contesting Assembly polls for the first time is a big industrialist from Ludhiana Gurmeet Singh Kular.
Here is the full list:
List of Punjab Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidates released. pic.twitter.com/Hwme7pdu5s— ANI (@ANI) November 16, 2016
While AAP has announced its candidates for 79 seats, BJP and Congress are yet to announce their lists.