The Congress has given its approval to the ‘one family, one ticket’ rule for the upcoming Punjab assembly elections. This can potentially throw several senior party leaders or their family members out of the poll fray.
Prominent among those likely to be affected are chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s younger brother Dr Manohar Singh, who had resigned as a senior medical officer and staked claim for the Bassi Pathana seat.
The nod to the rule was given at a screening committee meeting chaired by Congress general secretary Ajay Maken.
Also, cabinet ministers Brahm Mohindra and Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa were hoping to get tickets for their sons in the upcoming polls.
A party insider said cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh had also sought a ticket for his son from Sultanpur Lodhi, a constituency represented by Congress MLA Navtej Singh Cheema. However, it must be underlined that Cheema is being backed by Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu even as Rana Gurjit was reportedly preparing the ground for his son.
This also effectively rules out any chances of Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur contesting polls from Amritsar. Though the party denied that she would be in the fray, sources said her supporters were also keen on her jumping into the poll fray again. She has earlier remained MLA from Amritsar (East), the constituency that her husband currently represents.
Party insiders said the decision has been taken to prevent allegations of “dynastic politics” by the opposition and also to stop further fuelling the bickering within the party.
“If tickets would have been allocated to family members of one particular lobby, the other would have cried foul and resulted in more bickering. This will at least help the party tide over that,” a party leader said, on condition of anonymity.