Scoop Analysis: Congress faces threat from its own in 11 of the 13 Punjab Lok Sabha constituencies, know how

In Lok Sabha elections 2024, Congress' biggest threat in Punjab is likely to be its own leaders, here's why.

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Lok Sabha elections 2024 are just around the corner. Of the 13 Punjab Lok Sabha Constituencies, Congress has announced their candidates for 12 of them. However, Congress is suffering from infighting within the party over 10 of the 12 announced congress seats. Congress is also fielding parachute candidates for several of these constituencies. Due to this, the party is facing backlash from the local leaders, who are now likely to withhold their support. Along with this, some Congress leaders are unhappy over being denied the LS ticket. Hence, such a situation is developing that Congress is most likely scoring a self-goal with their own nominations in Punjab. Here is constituency-wise rundown of the places due to which Congress is suffering infighting within the party:



Congress will be fielding recent party inductee and former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi for the Lok Sabha seat in Patiala. However, local leaders from Patiala are not ready to support Gandhi. Gandhi was initially a member of AAP and was elected into Lok Sabha in 2014 from Patiala on AAP’s ticket, but left to form his own party, the New Punjab Party, and unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In 2024, he joined Congress who announced him as their Lok Sabha candidate. Denying local leaders the ticket and instead giving it to a turncoat has resulted in some in-house fighting, who are now not likely to support their party’s LS candidate.  


It is pertinent to note that Patiala was previously under the reign of Ex-CM Captain Amarinder Singh’s wife. Preneet Kaur is the sitting MP and had won the elections three times consecutively from 1990 to 2009 and again in 2019 on the Congress ticket. However, the party was dealt a big blow when Preneet Kaur decided to join BJP who promptly announced her as their candidate.


Sri Anandpur Sahib:

Sri Anandpur Sahib was declared a Lok Sabha constituency in 2008. Since then Congress secured the LS seat twice. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) secured the victory once in 2014. The 2019 elections were won by Congress’ Candidate Manish Tiwari. However this year, Congress will be fielding ex-MLA Vijay Inder Singla.


Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh and Ex-MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu were gunning for the LS ticket from Sri Anandpur Sahib. Not only this, but Rana K.P. Singh was also looking for the ticket. However, their hopes were quashed, and Rahul Gandhi’s close aide, Vijay Inder Singla was given the ticket. Singla, who is a parachute candidate, was appointed to replace Manish Tiwari who will be contesting in Chandigarh. As a result of nominating an outsider, local leaders are likely to not support Tiwari, which could heavily cost Congress.



Faridkot is one of the most high-profile Lok Sabha constituencies of Punjab. Both AAP and BJP are fielding Punjabi artists for the seat in the form Karamjit Anmol and Hans Raj Hans. Anmol, who is considered to be a close friend of CM Bhagwant Mann, will be making his debut this year, while Hans Raj Hans is more experienced, having contested the Lok Sabha polls multiple times.


Congress is fielding Amarjit Kaur Sahoke for the LS seat, who joined Congress in 2021. Due to this, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, former working president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, was not happy and hence is likely to not support Sahoke’s campaign. Not only this, Congress is divided into two groups, those in support of Sahoke and those against.


Another interesting thing to note however is that former MP, Congress’ Mohammad Siddique was replaced as the CM and was also not given the ticket this year. However, he has not publically commented on this.  



Jalandhar is another constituency where Congress is fielding a Parachute candidate in the form of ex-CM Charanjit Singh Channi. Not only this, ex-MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary’s son, Vikramjit Chaudhary, also wanted the Jalandhar ticket but was instead overlooked in favour of Channi. This decision was not taken lightly by the Chaudhary family as Santokh Chaudhary’s wife, Karamjit Kaur, left Congress to join BJP. Karamjit Kaur had contested the by-election following her husband’s death, and placed second, losing to AAP’s Sushil Kumar Rinku.


Alongside Chaudhary, AICC Himachal Pradesh Secretary in-charge, Tajinder Bittu also wanted the Jalandhar LS ticket but was denied. He also joined BJP, delivering two consecutive blows to Congress. While Vikramjit Chaudhary did not switch parties, he was suspended by Congress for his statements made against the party. Vikramjit had been critical of Channi ever since he became active in Jalandhar.



The 2019 Lok Sabha elections saw Congress’ Gurmeet Singh Aujla win the Amritsar LS seat. This year, congress is once again pitting their hopes on Aujla, much to the dismay of a group of party members who are now not in support of Aujla. Due to this, Aujla’s campaign is not getting the support it needs in Amritsar.



Another high-profile LS seat, Sangrur is the constituency of Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, who was elected MLA from the Dhuri seat. For 2024 polls, Congress has put their hopes behind Begowal MLA Sukhpal Khaira. However, Dalveer Goldy was denied the ticket in favor of Khaira, due to which he left the party to join AAP. Goldy had contested Dhuri seat against Bhagwant Mann, and the Lok Sabha seat in the 2022 by-elections but lost on both the occasions.  



In Gurdaspur, Congress is fielding Ex-Deputy CM of Punjab Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa for the Lok Sabha seat. Congress overlooked several other leaders, including Barindermeet Singh Pahra and Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, who also wanted the ticket. Those leaders are now not openly supporting Randhawa. Not only this, being a parachute candidate, Randhawa is also facing the local leaders’ backlash. While Congress believed Gurdaspur to be an easy win due to Sunny Deol’s absence, they need the support of Pahra and Bajwa to stand a chance of victory.



In the 2019 elections, the Hoshiarpur LS seat was won by Raj Kumar Chabbewal on the Congress ticket. However, in major blow to the party, he was poached by AAP who promptly announced him as their candidate. Congress in return included Yamini Gomar from AAP and put her up as their candidate for the Lok Sabha seat. However, she is likely to not get full support from the party as some leaders may still pledge their support to Chabbewal.



Sitting Ludhiana MP Ravneet Bittu had delivered a major blow to Congress with a shocking move to BJP. BJP then proceeded to announce Bittu as their own LS candidate for Ludhiana. In response, Congress also pulled out the big guns, fielding State Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Warring as their candidate. However, Raja Warring is an outsider battling in Ludhiana. Due to this, local leader Bharat Bhushan Ashu, who was also one of the frontrunners for the Lok Sabha ticket, was not happy with being denied the ticket. But conversely, giving Ashu the ticket would have invited the ire of other local leaders also gunning for the ticket, resulting in further infighting.



Bathinda is traditionally a stronghold for the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Not only this, sitting MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal will be looking to score a fourth consecutive victory here. Congress put their hopes behind Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu who was previously Talwandi Sabo MLA for SAD. However, Congress’ Punjab State Party President Raja Warring’s wife, Amrita Warring was the one who wanted the Lok Sabha ticket for Bathinda, but was overlooked.


Notably however, rumours of Sidhu Moosewala’s father Balkaur Singh Sidhu contesting the elections in Bathinda are increasingly gaining traction. Balkaur Singh is likely to contest the elections independently. This could result in a tough challenge for Congress as his son Sidhu had once contested the Mansa constituency on Congress’ ticket.


Sri Khadoor Sahib:

The sitting MP of Sri Khadoor Sahib, Jasbir Singh Dimpa will not be contesting the 2024 general elections. The ticket was instead given to Kulbir Singh Zira. However, Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjeet Singh was advocating for his son Rana Inder Partap Singh for the Lok Sabha ticket. Rana Inder Partap Singh, who is currently independent MLA representing Sultanpur Lodhi, was however not given the ticket much to the dismay of Rana Gurjeet Singh.


Along with this, while Zira is an outsider, Rana Gurjeet Singh is from Sri Khadoor Sahib only and had previously fought the MP elections here. Rana Gurjeet Singh’s business, his sugar mill, is also situated in Sri Khadoor Sahib. He has a substantial following here, hence losing his support could severely cost Congress as they also denied him the Anandpur Sahib ticket as well. Moreover, Khalistani and radical Sikh preacher, Amritpal Singh is also going to contest the Panthak seat independent, further throwing a spanner in the works.


List of Congress candidates for Punjab Lok Sabha seat:


  1. Charanjit Singh Channi- Jalandhar
  2. Yamini Gomar- Hoshiarpur
  3. Amarjit Kaur Sahoke- Faridkot
  4. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa- Gurdaspur
  5. Vijay Inder Singla- Anandpur Sahib
  6. Amrinder Singh Raja Warring- Ludhiana
  7. Kulbir Singh Zira- Khadoor Sahib
  8. Gurjit Singh Aujla- Amritsar
  9. Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu- Bathinda
  10. Dr. Amar Singh- Fatehgarh Sahib
  11. Dr. Daramvir Gandhi- Patiala
  12. Sukhpal Khaira- Sangrur