Former minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur will contest the by-election to the Patiala assembly constituency to be held next month as the Congress candidate, the party announced Saturday.The seat was vacated by her husband and former chief minister Amarinder Singh recently after he got elected to the Lok Sabha from the Amritsar parliamentary constituency in May this year.Congress president Sonia Gandhi cleared the name of Preneet Kaur as the candidate for the Patiala seat Saturday. The name of Harminder Singh Jassi was cleared for the Talwandi Sabo assembly seat where also the by-election will be held Aug 21.
Preneet Kaur had been Lok Sabha MP from the Patiala seat. She lost the Lok Sabha polls this time by around 20,000 votes to Dharamvira Gandhi of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).Amarinder Singh is now the deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.He had defeated BJP candidate Arun Jaitley in a bitter contest for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat by over one lakh votes. Jaitley is now the union finance and defence minister.While the by-election to the Patiala seat was necessitated by Amarinder resigning from there, the bypoll for the Talwandi Sabo seat in Bathinda district of south-west Punjab is being held as the sitting Congress legislator, Jeet Mohinder Singh, quit the party and resigned the seat to join the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal.The Akali Dal has named him as its candidate for the bypoll.