Former Congress MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki is once again in Catch 22 situation as he would need to come out of his annual practice of performing volunteer service at the Golden Temple for one month to file his nomination papers for Punjab Assembly elections due on February 4.
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Sikki has been given Congress ticket again from Khadoor Sahib constituency.
Every year, Sikki performs ‘Seva’ (volunteer service) at the Golden Temple for the whole of January, taking a complete break from the rest of his social and political responsibilities. He would live in a hotel near Golden Temple for the whole month.
This first came to light last year when Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced Sikki’s name to re-contest election from Khadoor Sahib, where a bypoll was necessitated after he suddenly quit as MLA in October 2015 in protest against the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib at Bath village in his constituency. For the bypoll, he was needed to file nomination papers on January 26, 2016. Though Sikki had 11 days for campaigning after completing his volunteer service on January 31, he was not ready to make any commitment that he would take at least a day’s break from his annual “Seva” to file his nomination papers for the bypoll scheduled for February 13, 2016. After a long wait, Congress eventually decided to boycott the bypoll and as a result, Ravinder Singh Brhampura of SAD won the seat easily.
“Nobody knew elections this year will be held so soon. Everybody was expecting these will be held in the last week of February. He (Sikki) is expected to come back to his constituency after January 10. Next programme will be finalised after he is back,” said a close aide of Sikki.