Punjab Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu has retained his candidature from his traditional seat of Amritsar East for the upcoming state Assembly elections that are scheduled to take place on February 14.
Congress released the first list of candidates on 86 assembly seats of Punjab for the upcoming polls earlier today. Sidhu is the sitting MLA from Amritsar East constituency.
According to party sources, Congress wanted to field Sidhu against former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh or Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia. However, Sidhu himself decided to contest from his sitting seat.
Amritsar East Seat comes from the Malva Region of Punjab which has the largest share of assembly seats and has always been a deciding region for getting the numbers to rule Punjab.
Other big leaders of the Congress come from the same district and the region but fielding Sidhu from his seat will ease the pressure on him and he will get enough time to campaign and tour in the other assembly segments, said a senior leader of Punjab Congress.
Congress has retained most of its MLAs in ticket distribution and only a few of the MLAs have been dropped from the list. Out of the 117 Assembly seats, Congress has announced the list of 86 candidates and 31 candidates are yet to be finalised by the party for the political battle in Punjab.
Punjab will go to the polls on February 14 and the counting of votes will take place on March 10.
In the 2017 Assembly polls in the state, Congress won an absolute majority by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117-member Punjab Legislative Assembly. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured three seats.