Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

Punjab Polls: It's Sidhu Vs Majithia In Amritsar East; Ex-CM Badal To Contest From Lambi

Declaring Majithia’s candidature, party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal attacked Sidhu, saying his political life is "coming to an end".

Senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia has been booked under a drug racket case. PTI photo

The Shiromani Akali Dal on Wednesday fielded senior party leader Bikram Singh Majithia against Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu from Amritsar East and former CM Parkash Singh Badal from Lambi constituency.

Parkash Singh Badal will be the oldest candidate in the fray for the February 20 Assembly elections. Meanwhile, Majithia expressed his gratitude to the SAD chief for fielding him from Amritsar East and tweeted, "Akalis have a brave history of fighting to safeguard the rights of Punjabis & protecting them from the anti-Punjab elements like @sherryontopp."

Amritsar East will be the second seat from where Bikram Singh Majithia will be contesting. The other seat from where he will be in the fray is the Majitha Assembly segment. "Navjot Sidhu, be ready," Sukhbir Badal told the Punjab Congress chief.

The SAD president said his party's Amritsar leadership and workers told him that Sidhu's "arrogance" has to be shattered. "Our warrior will fight from the Amritsar East seat," he said. Sukhbir Badal said rival political parties are targeting Majithia as he raises the voice of people.

He accused the Charanjit Singh Channi government, especially Sidhu of getting a false drug case registered against Majithia. Booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act last month, Majithia has been trying to secure an anticipatory bail from courts.

Majithia was denied relief by the Punjab and Haryana High Court early this week but was given three-day protection from arrest to move the Supreme Court for reprieve. "You (Sidhu) used to make false allegations and now the people of Punjab and people of your constituency will dispense justice," said Badal after declaring Majithia's candidature.

Targeting Sidhu for "doing nothing" for the Amritsar East constituency, Badal said the cricketer-turned-politician has been harping on his Punjab Model but completely neglected his own constituency. "A leader who does not go to his constituency and meet workers talks about the Punjab Model," the SAD chief said.

"His political life is coming to an end and it is going to be his last election," Badal asserted. On the Lambi seat, Badal said his father and former CM Parkash Singh Badal will be contesting. "Badal sahab fought for Punjab and the community throughout his life. He told me that he will not retire," he said.

"Badal Sahab has always been in the forefront to offer his services for the welfare of Punjab and Punjabis and he is doing so again," he added. Badal has been winning from the Lambi assembly seat since 1997. With the announcement of candidates on the two seats, the SAD has now declared candidates on all 97 seats on which it is going to contest the February 20 state Assembly polls.

The party, meanwhile, announced the candidature of Satinder Singh Chajjwalwadi from the Jandiala seat, replacing Malkit Singh, who has expressed inability to fight polls on health grounds. The SAD has tied up with the BSP for the coming elections.

According to the seat-sharing arrangement between the two parties, the BSP will field candidates on 20 of the 117 Assembly seats in Punjab, while the rest will be contested by the Shiromani Akali Dal.

With inputs from PTI.