Senior lawyers H S Phoolka and Himmat Singh Shergill figure in the first list of 19 candidates released by the Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday for Punjab Assembly elections scheduled early next year.
Former BSP MP Mohan Singh, a Dalit face, who had joined the AAP in June, will contest from Ferozepur rural.
Poolkha, who had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha polls from Ludhiana on an AAP ticket, will be party candidate from Dakha.
The senior lawyer had led a campaign to get justice for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims and could be a strong contender for being projected as the party’s chief ministerial face.
Shergill will contest from SAS Nagar Mohali. He had also unsuccessfully contested on AAP ticket from Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha constituency.
Interestingly, the list was announced in the absence of Kejriwal, who is on a vipassana sojourn. AAP’s Punjab co-convenor Durgesh Pathak is also away, attending a vipassana course.
The party intends to replicate the Delhi story in Punjab.
When it contested its maiden election in the national capital in 2013, AAP had declared candidates way before the polling schedules were announced. According to a party leader, this gives the party an edge over others in terms of campaigning.