Two Punjab bureaucrats-turned-politicians bite the dust (Poll sidelights)
Chandigarh, March 6 (IANS) Two top functionaries of the outgoing Punjab government who got into electoral politics have bitten the dust.
In the assembly election results declared Tuesday, Darbara Singh Guru, a senior IAS officer and former principal secretary to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who quit his job to contest the Bhadaur (Reserved) seat as an Akali Dal candidate lost to singer Mohammed Sadique. Guru had nursed the constituency in his capacity as the most powerful bureaucrat in the Badal government but that did not pay off.
Former Punjab police chief Paramdeep Singh Gill, who had quit his job as special adviser (Security) to the state home minister to contest the elections as an Akali Dal candidate from Moga, also lost.
Dissident brothers win
Two brothers, Simranjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains, are among the three Independent legislators elected this time. Both of them were Akali Dal dissidents and beat the official candidates convincingly - by margins of over 28,500 votes and 32,200 votes - from the Atam Nagar and Ludhiana south seats.
Balwinder Bains was previously the official Akali Dal candidate but was removed as his brother revolted against the ruling party. Simarjit Bains defeated sitting Akali minister Hira Singh Gabria from Atam Nagar.
Congress Young Turks lose
Two prominent Congress legislators in the outgoing Punjab assembly, Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Jasbir Singh Khangura (Jassi Khangura), who were part of the party's active young brigade, have been defeated in the election. Khaira lost the Bholath seat to former SGPC president Jagir Kaur while Khangura lost from the new seat of Dakha.
An Olympian and a legislator
Former Indian hockey captain and Olympian Pargat Singh won the Jalandhar Cantt seat as an Akali Dal candidate. A reluctant Pargat Singh, who was Punjab's Director of Sports till early January, was picked up by Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal to fight as a party candidate. He won the seat by nearly 6,700 votes.
The soft-spoken Pargat, who excelled as a player and later as sports director, will now have a new field - politics - to play on.
Small victory for Badal's son-in-law
Punjab minister and Chief Mminister Parkash Singh Badal's son-in-law Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon may be linked to two prominent political families of the state - the Kairons and the Badals, but he just managed to scrape through on Tuesday. Adesh won by only 59 votes from the border area seat of Patti. Badal may find it difficult to adjust a candidate with such a small victory margin in his ministry.