Punjab Elections 2017: BJP drops two ministers from list of candidates for polls

New Delhi: BJP on Monday dropped two ministers in Punjab government from the list of its remaining six candidates for the state assembly polls, which is scheduled to take place early next month.

With announcement of these six more names for the Punjab Assembly polls, the party has announced all its 23 candidates out of 117 seats for Punjab, where it is in alliance with SAD.

Two ministers who have been dropped are Madan Mohan Mittal and party’s state legislative leader Chuni Lal Bhagat, another minister in the SAD-BJP government in Punjab.

In place of Mittal, BJP has nominated Parmindra Sharma from Anandpur Sahib and Mohindra Bhagat, son of sitting MLA Chuni Lal Bhagat, will be party’s candidate from Jalandhar West. However, the party has shown faith in its two other ministers — Anil Joshi and Manoranjan Kalia — by giving them tickets from their current seats — Amritsar North and Jalandhar Central respectively.

Somprakash from Phagwara and Surjeet Jyani from Fazilka are other two sitting MLAs who will again contest on BJP’s ticket from their current seats.

Union minister J P Nadda, who is also the Secretary of party’s Central Election Committee (CEC), on Monday announced the names of remaining candidates.

The sitting MLAs, who have been dropped, either are over 75 years of age or are being seen more vulnerable in an election where the alliance is weathering 10 years of anti-incumbency.

BJP has already announced first list of 17 candidates for state Assembly polls on January 12.

The last date of filing the nomination is January 18. SAD-BJP is locked in a tough battle with Congress and AAP, which has emerged as a formidable third force in the state.