News Brief

Political Churn In Punjab: 29 Per Cent Candidates Of Major Political Parties Are Turncoats, Most Defectors In BJP

Bhuvan Krishna

May 12, 2024, 12:28 PM | Updated 12:11 PM IST

State of Punjab
State of Punjab

Out of the 52 candidates announced by the four major political parties —Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) — in Punjab, 15 are defectors.

The BJP leads with seven such candidates, followed by Congress and AAP with three each, and SAD with one. Many of these leaders have switched from Congress as per a report by The New Indian Express.

Political analyst Professor Kuldip Singh stated, “With a shortage of candidates in both the BJP and AAP, they have turned to defectors, especially the BJP. In Jalandhar, all parties have defectors, most of whom are from Congress, the oldest political party."

He further added, "The larger the family, the more likely there is an internal rift. Previously, the BJP contested on three Lok Sabha seats in alliance with SAD. Now, contesting solo, it needs candidates, hence the move to include defectors.”

Among the defectors fielded by the BJP are sitting MPs Preneet Kaur from Patiala and Ravneet Singh Bittu from Ludhiana. Both left Congress to join the BJP in March this year.

Preneet Kaur’s switch was expected as her husband, former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, whom the Congress removed from the post of CM, joined the BJP in September 2022.

Sodhi joined the BJP just ahead of the 2022 assembly polls, having served as the sports minister in the Amarinder Singh-led cabinet.

He has been fielded from the Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat. Additionally, three-time former SAD MLA Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind, who joined the BJP in January 2022, has been fielded from Khadoor Sahib.

Rinku stands out as a conspicuous party-hopper, having changed parties twice. He was the Congress MLA from Jalandhar (West) in 2017, joined AAP in April last year ahead of the Jalandhar Lok Sabha by-poll, and then switched to the BJP in March this year.

Former Congress leader Gejja Ram Valmiki, who joined BJP in 2022, has been given a ticket by Fategarh Sahib. Also, Arvind Khanna, who joined the BJP, has been fielded from Sangrur. The BJP is fighting these polls solo this time.

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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