Rahul Gandhi is about to start his Punjab tour from January 27 and is trying his best to save his Punjab stronghold again. In the 2017 Assembly elections, Congress won 19 seats out of 23 from Doaba. The biggest challenge for Rahul Gandhi is to protect his hold in Doaba as the party is facing internal dispute among the members.

The Doaba region played a very important role in the 2017 win of Congress in Punjab. Congress party had a good hold on Punjab in the last elections. Doaba region has four cities in it- Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala.

Congress is facing difficulty in Doaba this time because the candidates from the region are having a dispute because of the tickets. From the situations arising for Congress, it can be possible that half of the seats could be in danger due to the internal dispute.

The main dispute is of Ranu Gurjit Singh, who is Congress Candidate from Kapurthala. He has won the seat three times for the congress party. The matter started when congress refused to give the ticket to Rana's son Rana Inder Partap Singh who is now fighting as an Independent candidate from Sultanpur Lodhi. The refusal was a part of the party's policy to not give tickets to more than one member of a family.

Rana Gurjit started doing campaigning for his son in Sultanpur Lodhi and from the past two months, the Rana family is doing efforts for making son Inder Partap active in the area. Congress sitting MLA Tej Singh Cheema is contesting from Sultanpur Lodhi but as the party's inside minister is supporting his son who is fighting as an independent candidate, the Party can be facing trouble.

From the entire dispute, things don't look good for the congress party. If things go the same way, the party can face a huge loss in the upcoming elections.

On the other hand, Cheema says Party supporters are with him and he will win again. Coming in his support sitting MLA Avtar Singh Jr Bawa Henry from Jalandhar North, Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal from Phagwara and Sukhpal Singh Khaira from Bhulath, joined Cheema in writing a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi regarding Rana's expulsion.

Because of the dispute, Congress may face a risk for the 6 seats. Apart from 5 seats, Congress may also risk the seats from Jalandhar west and Shahkot too.

From Jalandhar west, Sushil Rinku candidate of the Congress party will be facing Mahinder Bhagat from BJP. He belongs to the Bhagat community. AAP candidate Shetal Anurag is also in the race. Akali Dal is not fighting from this area. Rinku is said to be closely associated with Rana as a result of which he is facing opposition from inside the party and the insiders are trying to let him defeat in the elections.

From Shahkot, Sitting MLA Hardev Singh Ladi will be contesting in the elections. He is also close with Rana Gurjit and facing opposition from the party. Rana and his close ones are facing hurdles from the insiders.

Congress candidate and sitting MLA Avtar Singh Jr Bawa Henry from Jalandhar North is facing a challenge from AAP candidate Dinesh Dhal who rebels Punjab Congress and joined AAP. Dinesh Dhal is close with Congress Rana Gurjit. BJP candidate KD Bhandari was already MLA from that area. From the entire dispute, the others Parties might get the advantage in winning the seat.

Another supporter of Cheema in the dispute, Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, the sitting MLA from Phagwara will be fighting against AAP candidate Joginder Mann who is said to be close to Rana Gurjit. The fight will be interesting in all the areas and the confusion of the party internals can give an advantage to other parties during the elections.  The parties are closely observing whether Congress will be able to stop the internal dispute in the party or it will affect them in the upcoming elections.


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