The Bank of India (BOI) has written to the Election Commission against the Congress candidate from Punjab’s Khadoor Sahib seat, Ramanjeet Singh Sikki. The bank has stated that Sikki has defaulted on his loan worth Rs 6.35 crores. The bank has also notified the returning officer of Khadoor Saheb and the SDM of the Tarn Taran district regarding the same.
The BOI has written that Ramanjeet Singh Sikki had availed a loan worth 6.35 crores from the bank. Despite several visits by bank officials to his residence and subsequent follow-ups, Sikki has not paid back the amount and the outstanding amount with interest was declared NPA by the bank in December 2020.
The letter also mentions that the bank, after failing to get Sikki to pay back the loan, had filed a lawsuit against him in 2021.
The bank has written that Congress Party has declared Sikki as their MLA candidate from the Khadoor Sahib constituency. They have requested the Election Commission of India to not allow Sikki to file his nomination for the upcoming state assembly elections.
CEC forwards letter for further action, Congress MP’s brother to contest for the same seat
The CEC has forwarded the letter to the district election officer, the All India Congress Committee, and the Pradesh Congress Committee for further action. Tribune India has reported that the SDM has been asked to take appropriate action on the issue.
As per reports, Punjab Youth For Change leader Harbans Singh has stated that it has become common in Punjab to avail a bank loan and then not pay it back. He added that many farmers suffer crop loss and hence fail to pay back the loans. But Sikki is affluent, he should have paid the loan amount back. Singh added that the ECI should consider the request by BOI and stop Sikki’s nomination because it will send a strong message to loan defaulters.
In the latest development, disgruntled Congress MP Jasbir Singh Dimpa’s brother Harpinder Singh aka Ranajn Gill has announced that he will contest the elections for the Khadoor Sahib seat, despite the party naming Ramanjeet Sikki, a two-time MLA.
Though it is not yet clear whether Gill will contest as an independent candidate, there are some reports that he is in talks with the BJP. Sikki’s candidature may get rejected if the ECI prevents him from filing a nomination.