Late comedian-actor Jaspal Bhatti's widow Savita is the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAPs) choice for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat. The party announced her name in New Delhi on Saturday.
Savita, a mass communications post-graduate has also acted in films and television. She is the first candidate to be announced by any major political party for the seat, as the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are yet to make their picks. "I am happy to be announced as the AAP candidate for Chandigarh. I believe that Jaspal Bhatti has provided me a platform since he used to highlight social issues and evils," Savita told IANS.
Jaspal, who gained popularity with his television shows "Ulta Pulta" and "Flop Show" along with his satirical street shows on social issues, died in a car accident in October 2012.
At present, Congress MP and former railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal represents the Chandigarh seat. He won the Lok Sabha elections from here in 1999, 2004 and 2009. Bansal was forced to resign as the railway minister May 2013 after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) caught his nephew for allegedly accepting a bribe of over Rs.90 lakh from a senior railways officer for securing a lucrative high-level assignment for him.
Ever since the controversy put Bansal in a spot, there is speculation over the Congress giving him the ticket for the general elections. Some senior Congress leaders from the city have also applied this time.
Other names doing rounds in Congress circles are union ministers Manish Tewari and Kapil Sibal. The BJP has also not indicated its candidate's preference for the seat. Former MP Satya Pal Jain had unsuccessfully contested against Bansal in the past two elections.