Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday announced his new party Punjab Lok Congress’s first list of candidates from 22 constituencies for the February 20 state elections, with ex-captain of Indian hockey team Ajit Pal Singh among the prominent names.
“We have given a good set of candidates with a clear focus on winnability while ensuring due representation across regions and various sections of the society,” Captain Singh, who will contest from his Patiala Urban seat, said at a news conference.
The Punjab Lok Congress or PLC has been allotted 37 to contest out of the 117 seats in the state as part of its alliance with the BJP and SAD (Sanyukt), with discussions underway on another five possible seats for the party, he said.
Of the 37 seats in his share, 26 are from the Malwa region of the state with which Captain Singh has had strong family ties and used to be part of the erstwhile royal estate of Patiala.
The region had helped Captain Singh swing the 2007 election for the Congress with his agricultural reforms. This time, the former Chief Minister could be helped by the eventual revocation of the farm laws by the centre, his supporters said.
Releasing the first list of nominees, the PLC chief said all these candidates have strong political credentials and are well-known faces in their respective constituencies.
There is just one woman among the candidates – Farzana Alam Khan, a former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA and wife of late police chief Izhar Alam Khan, will contest from Malerkotla in the Malwa region.
Amarinder Singh had on Saturday announced his decision to fight from his home constituency of Patiala Urban.
The party’s list of candidates includes eight who are Jat Sikhs, four belong to the Scheduled Caste community, three to the Other Backward Class (OBC) community, and five are Hindus.