Congress clears 2 more names, Tewari from Anandpur Sahib, Dhillon from Sangrur(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday cleared the names of former Union minister Manish Tewari from Anandpur Sahib seat and Kewal Dhillon, a former MLA, from Sangrur.

The names were finalised at a meeting of the state screening committee comprising Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, state Congress president Sunil Jakhar, state affairs in-charge Asha Kumari and general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal with Rahul.

The meeting that started late on Thursday evening went on for an hour during which all four remaining seats were discussed. Finally, the CM had his way after he gave personal assurance to Rahul that both the candidates being backed by him would return victorious.

Tewari is the second Hindu face to be fielded by the Congress in Punjab in addition to Jakhar, who is contesting from Gurdaspur. Tiwari had won his debut parliamentary election from Ludhiana in 2009. On the new turf of Anandpur Sahib, he will be pitted in four-cornered contest against sitting MP Prem Singh Chandumajra ( SAD), Bir Devinder Singh of

Akali Dal (Taksali) and Narinder Singh Shergill of the AAP.

For Bathinda, the seat represented by Union minister Harsimrat Badal, the name of Navjot Kaur, wife of state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, was mooted as the “best” candidate along with finance minister Manpreet Badal and Gidderbaha MLA

Amrinder Singh Raja Warring. Kaur and Manpreet have expressed their unwillingness to contest.

For Ferozepur, name of sports minister Rana Gurmit Sodhi, sitting MP Sher Singh Ghubaya, and former Punjab Youth Congress president Raminder Awla were discussed. Amarinder backed Sodhi but it was decided to finalise the candidates for Bathinda and Ferozepur only after Akalis reveal their candidates.

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