While a total of eight contestants are in fray for Patiala seat, Talwandi Sabo seat is being contested by seven candidates, he said. In Patiala, a triangular contest is evident among former union minister and wife of Congress leader Amarinder Singh Preneet Kaur, Bhagwan Das (SAD) and Harjeet Singh of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Preneet Kaur had lost the recent Lok Sabha polls to AAP's Dharamvira Gandhi. Talwandi Sabo too is witnessing a triangular contest among Congress candidate Harminder Singh Jassi, SAD's Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu and AAP's Bajinder Kaur. At Talwandi Sabo, Balkar Singh is in fray as an Independent candidate. Initially, he was declared as an AAP candidate but later was dropped and replaced by Baljinder Kaur (29).
While the total electors in Talwandi Sabo is 1,44,316, the number of electorates in Patiala is 1,51,461. The bypolls were necessitated after Patiala's sitting MLA Amarinder Singh (Cong) got elected to Lok Sabha from Amritsar while in Talwandi Sabo, sitting Congress MLA Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu deserted the party to join ruling SAD.
In the 117-member Punjab Assembly, the strength of ruling SAD is 56, its ally BJP 12, Congress has 44 members while there are three independents. To gain simple majority, SAD requires two more members so that its tally in the Assembly reaches 58. The counting will take place on August 25.