Lok Sabha elections in Punjab: Akali Dal fields Parminder Dhindsa from Sangrur
Chandigarh, Apr 5: The Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday announced it will field former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa from the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, a month after he had reportedly expressed reluctance to contest the general election.
Parminder Dhindsa, sitting MLA from Lehragaga in Sangrur and former finance minister, had last month apprised the party leadership of not desiring to contest the Lok Sabha polls as he was a sitting legislator.
He, however, had said he would abide by the party's decision. His father, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, a Rajya Sabha MP and a former Union minister, had reportedly asked him not to contest the polls and had also said that he would not campaign for him if he decided to fight elections.
Veteran Akali leader Sukhdev Dhindsa had last year resigned from the SAD's core committee and as its secretary general citing health reasons. Ever since he quit the posts, Sukhdev Dhindsa had been staying away from the party's activities. It was Sukhdev Dhindsa who had reportedly sought the resignation of the then Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, holding him responsible for granting pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh in 2015 in a blasphemy case of 2007.
The SAD fielded Parminder Dhindsa, a five-time lawmaker, from the seat as it wanted to put up a strong face from Sangrur. Sangrur is currently represented in the Lok Sabha by Aam Aadmi Party Punjab chief Bhagwant Mann, who is seeking re-election from the seat. The Congress is yet to announce its candidate for the seat.
Parminder Dhindsa began his political career by contesting Sunam by-election in 2000. Thereafter, he won from Sunam seat in 2002, 2007 and 2012 and from Lehragaga in 2017 assembly polls. At present, he is holding the post of party's general secretary. With the announcement of his candidature from the Sangrur seat, the Akali Dal has so far fielded nominees from six seats.
The SAD has fielded sitting MP Prem Singh Chandumajra from Anandpur Sahib, former minister Surjit Singh Rakhra from Patiala seat, former IAS officer Darbara Singh Guru from Fatehgarh Sahib (reserve), former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur from Khadoor Sahib and former deputy speaker of Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal from Jalandhar (reserve) seat. Of total 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the Akali Dal will contest on 10 while its ally BJP will fight on three seats as per seat sharing arrangements.
The seven-phased Lok Sabha polls will begin on April 11 and end on May 19. Punjab will go to polls in a single phase on May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.