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Consensus in SAD on realtor Sharma’s name from Patiala

2024 4largeimg 1863964756PATIALA: Adding more spice to the Patiala parliamentary seat, the Shiromani Akali Dal will not give its competitors an easy run and is likely to field a candidate acceptable to Patiala leaders to ensure its victory.

SAD senior leaders confirmed that two-time MLA NK Sharma is the first choice as of now to take on the ‘mighty’ contestents from other parties.

Insiders in SAD say, “It is being discussed by the top leadership to field Mohali realtor NK Sharma from this seat. However, the only change at the last minute could be to ‘poach someone from outside and field him from Patiala’, though the chances are bleak.”

Patiala will witness a tough contest with the BJP fielding former Congress MP Preneet Kaur and the Congress likely to trust former AAP MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, who joined it yesterday. The ruling Aam Aadmi Party has already announced the candidature of Cabinet Minister Dr Balbir Singh.

Sources say that former minister Surjit Singh Rakhra is not keen to contest the elections this time and the decision has already been conveyed to the party high command. Meanwhile, former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra is also not interested from Patiala.

Sources say even Rakhra has backed the name of Sharma for the ticket, claiming to “ensure all help to him in case the party fields him from Patiala”.

“It looks likely that the party will announce his name in the coming days as Sharma is keen to contest and has given his nod to the party high command. Another factor in his favour is that he faces no opposition from any quarters in Patiala and the party leadership will work as a unit,” they said, adding that Sharma looked like “a suitable candidate from Patiala, where we are eyeing the Hindu vote bank”.

With the BJP eyeing to induct leaders across party lines to strengthen its Punjab cadre, SAD is trying it level best to keep its leaders together and field winnable candidates.

“I am ready for whatever the party high command decides. I am ready to take on anyone from anywhere, wherever the party sends me”, Sharma told The Tribune. “I am loyal to the party. Giving me the ticket is the sole decision of the high command and I will abide by whatever it decides,” says Sharma, who hails from Lohgarh in Zirakpur.

In the 2019 poll, Congress candidate Preneet Kaur, who won the elections by more than 1.5 lakh votes, failed to make a dent in SAD’s bastion of Derabassi, where she trailed behind SAD’s Rakhra by over 17,000 votes. Kaur bagged 70,883 votes from the Derabassi Assembly segment, while Rakhra got 87,993 votes.

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