Last Updated: April 12, 2023, 23:45 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday announced Inder Iqbal Atwal as its candidate for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll.
The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary in January.
Inder, the son of ex-Deputy Speaker Lok Sabha Charanjit Atwal, recently quit Akali Dal to join the BJP. His father Charanjit was the SAD-BJP candidate from Jalandhar in 2019 but lost the seat to Santokh Singh Chaudhary, husband of bypoll candidate Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary, by 19,491 votes.
Inder was the MLA from the Koom Kalan constituency of Ludhiana.
Since Schedule Caste votes are significant in Jalandhar, the BJP has tactically given the ticket to Atwal, who represents the Majhbi Sikh community. The SAD-BSP, Congress and AAP candidates are Ravidassias.
Mazhabi Sikhs come from the lowest of the caste ladder. They share their caste background with Ati-shudra Balmikis.
The battle for the Jalandhar seat has become crucial for all the political parties with Congress trying to retain the seat.
The last date for filing nominations for the upcoming Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll will be April 20 while notification will be issued on April 13, Punjab Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C said.
The nominations will be scrutinised on April 21 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 24.
Polling would be held on May 10 from 8 am to 6 pm and the counting of votes would be done on May 13. The election process will be completed on May 15.
The CEO said April 14 being Baisakhi and the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, is a holiday under the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881, therefore, nomination papers cannot be presented on that day, PTI reported.
He said the model code of conduct has come into force in Jalandhar district since the date of announcement of the bypoll on March 29 by the Election Commission of India.
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