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Punjab Elections: Congress Finalises Candidates; CM Channi Likely To Contest From 2 Seats

CM Charanjit Singh Channi, who is currently representing the Chamkaur Sahib seat is also likely to contest from the Adampur seat to woe the Dalit vote bank

Image: PTI

Gearing up for the Punjab Assembly elections, the ruling Congress has finalised a list of more than 70 candidates whose names may be announced on Friday. Interestingly, the Congress is keen to field Chief Minister Charanjeeet Singh Channi from two seats in two different regions of Punjab.

Channi, who is currently representing the Chamkaur Sahib seat in Punjab Assembly, is also likely to contest from the Adampur constituency in Doaba to woo the Dalit vote bank, which is the deciding factor in the region. The discussions were held during a meeting of the Congress Central Election Committee (CEC) for Punjab Assembly elections on Thursday through video conferencing. 

According to ANI sources, Congress has finalised the list of more than 70 candidates which include a large number of sitting MLAs as well as MPs. The first list of Congress candidates, in which Channi could be given two seats, is likely to be announced on Friday, after another round of the CEC meeting.

"Apart from Chamkaur Sahib Assembly seat which comes in Maajha region of Punjab, Congress is all set to field CM Channi from Adampur Assembly constituency which falls in the Doaba Region where a large number of seats have a chunk of Dalit votes who are a deciding factor in the region. Along with that, it will not be a surprise to see sitting MPs as candidates for Assembly polls," the source informed.

Uncertainty of Congress' CM face for Punjab

Charanjit Singh Channi was sworn in as the Punjab Chief Minister in September 2021, replacing Captain Amarinder Singh, who resigned from the post amid his political tussle with Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu. Channi thus became the state’s first Dalit CM, even as a controversy over the change of guard grew with changing power dynamics within the ranks of the Congress.

As the state heads for polls next month, there are many chief ministerial aspirants including Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sunil Jakhar, but Congress has refrained from declaring the CM face as yet.

On the decision to field sitting MPs in the assembly polls, a Congress leader said, "Yes, there is a discussion on fielding MPs like Pratap Singh Bajwa whose tenure is ending in March from Rajya Sabha. The aim behind putting them is to make the battle serious and build up the perception that the party wants to win the elections."

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