Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 11The BJP’s Central Parliamentary Board, which met in New Delhi today under the chairmanship of party chief Amit Shah, cleared the names of candidates for 17 of the 23 seats being contested in Punjab, sources said. Four of the six seats for which the names were held back are represented by ministers in the SAD-BJP government. The meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A formal release of the list was put on hold, it was learnt. Sources said the committee postponed a decision on the seats held by Industries Minister Madan Mohan Mittal and Forest Minister Chunni Lal Bhagat. Mittal (Anandpur Sahib MLA) and Mittal (Jalandhar West) are both above 75 years of age and might be replaced as per Modi’s suggestion of giving a chance to younger leaders. Mittal and Bhagat are seeking the ticket for their sons, Arvind Mittal and Mahinder Bhagat, respectively. The committee also withheld a decision on the seats of ministers Anil Joshi (Amritsar North) and Surjit Kumar Jyani (Fazilka), besides the ones represented by Som Parkash (Phagwara) and Manoranjan Kalia (Jalandhar Central). The board decided not to give the ticket to former state unit president Rajinder Bhandari from Ludhiana West. A younger candidate, Kamal Chaitley, has been picked, the sources said. Senior leader Satpal Gosain, who had lost the 2012 election and is also above 75, has been replaced by Gurdev Sharma. State unit president Vijay Sampla’s choices Harjit Grewal (Rajpura) and Arunesh Shakar (Mukerian); Ashwani Sharma from Pathankot; Dinesh Babbu (Sujanpur); Seema Kumari (Bhoa); Parveen Bansal (Ludhiana North); and KD Bhandari (Jalandhar North) are among those on the list. Sources said Tikshan Sud’s name had been cleared from Hoshiarpur. Tarun Chugh has been chosen from Amritsar Central. Arun Narang (Abohar) will replace Vijay Luxmi Bhadoo, who lost her deposit last time. She was seeking the ticket for her son, Kunal Bhadoo. Rakesh Gill (Amritsar West), Sukhjit Kaur Sahi (Dasuya), BD Dhupar (Dinanagar) and Sukhpal Nannu (Ferozepur) have been retained, the sources added. Rajesh Honey gets the ticket from Amritsar East, which was held by Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu before she joined the Congress.