Of the total 26 candidates announced by the ruling SAD-BJP combine and Congress so far, eleven are 60 years or above and include heavyweights like Arun Jaitley (BJP), Amarinder Singh (Congress), Ambika Soni (Congress) and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (SAD).
    
The last date for filing nominations in Punjab is April 9. The state, known as the food bowl of the nation, goes to polls on April 30 during which 1.34 crore voters below the age of 49 are expected to exercise their franchise.
    
While the SAD-BJP team has so far fielded seven candidates in the 60 or above age bracket, Congress has fielded four till date.
    
The candidates in the age group of 50 or below include Badal;s daughter-in-law 47-year-old Harsimrat Kaur, wife of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, seeking re-election from her Bathinda seat.
    
Local SAD MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu (47) will slug it out in the Jalandhar (reserve) seat. Another SAD legislator, Manpreet Singh Ayali (39), is to contest from the Ludhiana seat.
    
In the Congress list, sitting MP Vijay Inder Singla (42) is seeking re-election from Sangrur whereas Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Singh Bittu (39), the grandson of former chief minister the late Beant Singh, has been named for the electoral battle in Ludhiana.
    
Another below 50 age group Congress candidate is former militant Harminder Singh Gill (49) in Khadoor Sahib.
    
First-timer Vijay Sampla (52), who has been the state BJP vice-president since 1997, has been put up as the party's candidate for the Hoshiarpur (reserve) seat.
    
Actor-turned-politician and former MP Vinod Khanna (67) from BJP will cross swords with Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa (57) for Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat.
        
"The Akali list is a mix of youth and experience. We have young faces in Jalandhar and Fatehgarh Sahib, but have carefully fallen back on experience in other constituencies," SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal has said.

(Agencies)

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