BJP to stake claim to 4 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab

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Amritsar, Nov 6 (UNI) The BJP has decided to stake its claim to four of 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab instead of remaining content with the three it contested and won in the last elections.

''On the bases of our performance in the last Assembly elections and then in the polls to the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and the Municipal Corporations, we will demand four Parliamentary seats from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), our electoral ally'', senior BJP leader and former minister Balramjit Dass Tandon said here today.

In an informal chat with mediapersons, Mr Tandon, who is the Chairman of the BJP's state Election Committee said besides Amritsar and Gurdaspur, the party would seek the Anandpur Sahib seat in lieu of Hoshiarpur which has now become a reserved constituency.

Besides the party would like to contest one more seat, either Ferozepur or Ludhiana, he said and added that this demand would be raised with SAD at the approriate time.

The BJP has already renominated cine star, Vinod Khanna from Gurdaspur and cricketer-turned-politician from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu. The third seat that the BJP had won in the last polls was Hoshiarpur which has now been reserved and the party now has no strong candidate for this seat.

There are indications that Mr Avinash Rai Khanna who won from Hoshiarpur might shifted to Anandpur Sahib. However, another senior BJP leader and former minister, Madan Mohan Mittal is also keen on contesting from Anandpur Sahib as he has represented the Nangal assembly segment which now forms part of Anandpur Sahib constituency.

Regarding the claims to a fourth seat, Mr Tandon said the matter will be discussed with the SAD after elections are announced.

'' We will also take up the matter with our high command'', he added while making it clear that the issue was basically between two alliance partners and could be tackled easily.

Mr Tandon held a meeting with senior BJP leaders and directed them to rejuvinate the party cardres, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

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