12 out of 13 BJP candidates announced; Saffron Party banking on 6 Ex-Congress leaders in Punjab for LS Polls 2024

In its fresh list, the BJP announced Dr. Shubhash Sharma will fight Lok Sabha Polls from Anandpur Sahib, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi from Firozpur, and Arvind Khanna from Sangrur.

Lok Sabha Election 2024, Punjab, BJP-Lok-Sabha-Candidates, BJP-Punjab-Lok-Sabha-Candidates, Punjab-BJP-Lok-Sabha-Candidates, Punjab-BJP-Turncoats, BJP-candidates-former-Congress-leaders, Ex-Congress-leaders-List-Punjab-BJP, BJP-Lok-Sabha-Elections-Punjab-Candidates, Sushil-Rinku, Ravneet-Bittu, Arvind-Khanna | 12 out of 13 BJP candidates announced; Saffron Party banking on 6 Ex-Congress leaders in Punjab for LS Polls 2024- True Scoop

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday night announced three more candidates for Lok Sabha Elections 2024 in Punjab. In its fresh list, the BJP announced Dr. Shubhash Sharma will fight Lok Sabha Polls from Anandpur Sahib, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi from Firozpur, and Arvind Khanna from Sangrur. With this, the BJP has announced 12 candidates out of 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. Only BJP candidate from Fatehgarh Sahib is yet to be announced. Notably, it is among those rare times when the BJP is fighting Lok Sabha Elections without any alliance in Punjab. However, to solve the permutation and combination of its candidates' faces, the BJP has fielded at least six former Congress leaders. It is a well-known fact that the BJP is the nemesis of the Congress party in the political fraternity. However, if the BJP has to achieve 'Abki Baar 400 Paar', the former Congress leaders have to deliver from them. Below are 6 former Congress leaders who have been fielded by the BJP in Lok Sabha Polls 2024- 


1) Preneet Kaur


BJP in March 2024 announced Preneet Kaur as its Lok Sabha Election candidate from Patiala constituency. Preneet Kaur is the wife of former Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh. Preneet Kaur is the only candidate who has won the election from the Patiala constituency thrice i.e. in year 2004, 2009, and 2019. This is after 21 years that BJP will be fighting assembly election without any alliance. For the unversed, it was in 1997 that the BJP formed an alliance with SAD and till 2019 they contested elections together. Post 2019, this is the first time that BJP and SAD will be contesting solo in the assembly election.


Before joining the BJP, Preneet Kaur is a four-time Congress MP. Preneet Kaur was placed under suspension by the Congress in February 2023 soon after her husband, former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, joined the BJP. She continued to be a Lok Sabha MP from Patiala. Preneet Kaur  had sent a one-line resignation letter to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, saying:, "I hereby tender my resignation from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress with immediate effect."


2) Sushil Rinku


Sushil Rinku joining the BJP ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 indeed came as a shock for many. Sushil Rinku was the lone AAP MP from Jalandhar Constituency. Rinku had won the Jalandhar Byelections on the AAP ticket. He was also announced as AAP's candidate to fight Lok Sabha Elections 2024 from Jalandhar. However, the tables turned and Sushil Rinku quit the party and joined the BJP. BJP also named him as its Lok Sabha Elections 2024 candidate from Jalandhar. Sushil Rinku on joining BJP had clarified that he decided to switch the party for the development of Jalandhar. Rinku had said that he was not able to work on the promises he made with the people of Jalandhar when he was with the Aam Aadmi Party. Interestingly, before joining the AAP, Sushil Rinku was part of the Congress party. Rinku had resigned from the Congress and joined the AAP. It means Sushil Rinku is another former Congress leader on whom the BJP is banking big. 


3)  Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi

BJP on Wednesday announced Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi as its Lok Sabha candidate from Ferozepur. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi,  the BJP candidate from Ferozepur, was the Sports Minister in the Capt Amarinder Singh government in the state. He left the Congress and joined the BJP in 2021. He won the Guruhar Sahai assembly segment in Punjab in 2002, 2007, 2012, and 2017 on Congress tickets. Sodhi also served as Chief Whip of the Congress Legislative Party.
4)  Arvind Khanna
Arvind Khanna's name was announced on Wednesday by the BJP as its Lok Sabha Elections 2024 candidate from Sangrur. Arvind Khanna aka Arvind Rai Khanna is a former MLA. Khanna will the only Hindu candidate from the seat where all other candidates are Jat Sikhs. Arvind Khanna has been pitted against AAP’s Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Congress’ Sukhpal Khaira, SAD (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann, and SAD’s Iqbal Singh Jhundan.
For the unversed, Arvind Khanna has been a legislator twice in 2002 and 2012 on Congress tickets. He joined the BJP in 2022 and unsuccessfully contested the 2022 assembly polls from the Sangrur seat on a BJP ticket. He remained MLA twice from Dhuri (2012-14) and Sangrur (2002-07).
5) Ravneet Bittu
Ravneet Bittu is BJP's Lok Sabha Elections 2024 candidate from Ludhiana. Congress MP from Ludhiana, Ranveet Bittu quit the INC in March 2024. Bittu had won the Ludhiana Constituency twice and once from Sri Anandpur Sahib. Ravneet Bittu had previously served as the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha from March to July 2021. Bittu was elected to the Lok Sabha from Ludhiana in 2014 and 2019 Assembly elections and from Anandpur Sahib in 2009. Ravneet Bittu is the grandson of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh. Beant Singh was a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, and played a major role in ending Terrorism in Punjab Beant Singh was assassinated in a suicide bomb blast at the secretariat complex in Chandigarh on 31 August 1995.

Bittu will be up against Punjab Congress state unit chief Raja Warring in Lok Sabha Elections 2024. 


6) Hans Raj Hans


Hans Raj Hans, the Sufi Singer had first contested the Jalandhar Lok Sabha from the Akali Dal (SAD) ticket but had however lost. He then proceeded to resign from SAD in 2014 and went on to join Congress. After a relatively unimpressive stint in Congress, he joined the BJP and successfully contested the Delhi West constituency on the BJP ticket. This year Hans Raj Hans will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections in the Faridkot Constituency on the BJP ticket.


It is pertinent to mention here that apart from these six former Congress leaders, the BJP has fielded Manjit Singh Manna from Khadoor Sahib and Parampal Kaur Sidhu from Bathinda. Both leaders have links with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). For instance, Parampal Kaur, the former bureaucrat is the daughter-in-law of senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sikander Singh Maluka. Parampal Kaur, a 2011 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, applied for voluntary retirement ahead of her retirement on 31 October as she wasn’t getting a sense of satisfaction from her job any longer.