Punjab election is all-family affair

Written by Nistula Hebbar | Nistula Hebbar | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 7 2012, 08:38am hrs
The forthcoming Assembly elections in Punjab will see relatives and family members of various leaders in the fray. Cutting across the party line, kin of those in power figure prominently in the list of candidates released by the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal, and the BJP.

The Congress list for Punjab, declared for 114 seats, has around a dozen names that are kin of senior leaders. Former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh's son Raninder Singh has been nominated from Samana. Another former CM Beant Singh's grandson Gurkirat Singh Kotli has secured a ticket from Khanna. Kotli is also related to Lok Sabha MP Ravneet Singh Bittoo.

Amarinder Singh's chief detractor Rajinder Kaur Bhattal's son-in-law Bikram Singh Bajwa has been nominated from Sahnewal. Another former chief minister Harcharan Singh Brars daughter-in-law and senior Punjab Congress leader Sunny Brars wife Karan Brara has been nominated from Mukhtsar.

The list goes on. Former MP from Faridkot and senior PCC leader Jagmeet Singh Brar's brother Ripjeet Brar has been nominated from Kotkapura, while former PCC chief Shamsher Singh Dhillon's wife Harbans Kaur has managed a ticket from Bassi Pathania.

Pratap Singh Bajwa, MP from Gurdaspur, managed to get a ticket for his wife Charanjit Singh Kaur from Qadian Assembly seat.

The Congress, however, is not the only one that believes in keeping it all within the family. At least four members of the Badal family will be contesting as Shiromani Akali Dal candidates. Apart from the CM himself, his son-in-law Adesh Partap Singh Kairon and Bikramjit Singh Majithia (brother-in-law of of the CMs son and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal) have got party tickets from Lambi, Pati and Majithia, respectively.

Two other relatives Janmeja Singh Sekhon and former IAS officer Amarjit Singh Sidhu have also got party tickets from Maur and Talwandi Sabo constituencies, respectively.