Punjab bypoll campaign ends; Akalis get free run

Chandigarh, Feb 11 (IANS) Campaigning for Khadoor Sahib assembly seat by-election, where the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal had a free run as the opposition Congress and new entrant AAP are keeping away, ended on Thursday evening.

Akali Dal candidate Ravinder Singh Brahmpura faces six other candidates, including five independents, on Saturday’s bye-election.

The seat fell vacant after the sitting Congress legislator, Ramanjit Singh Sikki, resigned in October last year over recent incidents of sacrilege of Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, in Punjab and the state government’s failure to contain such incidents.

The candidate winning the Khadoor Sahib seat in the bye-election will remain a legislator for only about one year as assembly elections in Punjab are due in February next year.

The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is establishing itself in political space in Punjab, have opted out of the bye-election, leaving the field open for the Akali Dal.

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