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Politics Punjab Lok Sabha Elections, Older A Candidate Better The Qualification


Apr 3, 2005
In Punjab, older the candidate, better are his academic qualifications. A study of affidavits submitted by 36 of the 214 candidates in the run for the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state makes interesting revelations.

Most of the first-timers or fresh faces, including Harsimrat Kaur Badal, folk singer Hans Raj Hans, Ravneet Singh Bittu and Vijay Inder Singla are undergraduates.

On the other hand, veterans like Charanjit Singh Athwal, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Mohinder Singh Kaypee and Manish Tewari are qualified professionals.

Faridkot, a reserve constituency, not only draws a first-timer against a sitting MP, but also puts two of the highly qualified candidates in a direct contest.

Paramjit Kaur Gulshan, an Akali candidate, is a double postgraduate and a
qualified teacher.

Her opponent Sukhwinder Singh Danny (Congress) is postgraduate and also an MBA from Webster’s Graduate Regents College, London.

Interestingly, Harsimrat has given her qualifications as a matriculate with a diploma in textile designing.

Her opponent, Raninder Singh, is BCom from Buckingham University. Raninder’s mother Preneet Kaur, Congress candidate from Patiala, is a graduate.

Though a website of the Punjab Youth Congress talks of Vijay Inder Singla taking to politics after pursuing his degree in engineering, his affidavit says he is 10 plus II. So is Ravneet Singh Bittu.

Among the professionals, there are three qualified doctors. Two of them, Daljit Singh Cheema and Rattan Singh Ajnala, are SAD candidates from Anandpur Sahib and Khadoor Sahib, respectively, while the third, Sukhwinder Kumar, is a qualified ENT specialist and BSP candidate.

Som Parkash, who quit IAS to join politics, is also a postgraduate. Bakshi Krishan Nath Chhiber, BSP candidate from Amritsar, is MSc from Madras.

Baba Balkar Singh, president, Bharatiya Gaon Taj Dal and candidate from Khadoor Sahib, is also a postgraduate from Panjab University. They all are contesting elections for the first time.

Of 36 candidates, 12 are graduates. They include Navjot Sidhu (BJP-Amritsar), Kaushalya Chaman (CPM - Faridkot), Hardev Arshi (CPM - Bathinda), Partap Singh Bajwa (Cong - Gurdaspur), Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (SAD - Sangrur), Simranjit Singh Mann (SAD - Amritsar, Sangrur), Santosh Chaudhary (Cong - Hoshiarpur) and Kewal Krishan (BSP - Anandpur Sahib).

Simranjit Singh Mann is a gold medallist and is BA (Hons), while Santosh Chaudhary has done BEd. Gurdev Singh of the BSP is graduate.

Gurcharan Singh Galib (SAD - Ludhiana), Sukhdev Singh Libra (Congress - Fatehgarh Sahib), Sher Singh Ghubaiya (SAD - Ferozepur) and Rana Gurjit Singh (Congress - Khadoor Sahib) are matriculates.

Bollywood star Vinod Khanna is Jr BCom from Mumbai. T{censored}m Jodhan (CP ML-Liberation), a candidate from Sangrur, has completed BA(II) only.