Triangular fight in Faridkot
Despite having seven out of nine assembly seats and wielding considerable clout, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) faces tough battles in retaining the Faridkot Lok sabha seat,ahead of the polls on April 30 for the 16th Lok Sabha.
The Faridkot Lok sabha seat, which Chief Minister Parkash Badal had won in 1977, is now held by Paramjit Kaur Gulshan (SAD) who is re-contesting. The representative of this scheduled caste reserved seat, Ms Gulshan is wife of retired Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge, who is now an MLA from Bassi Pathana. She is also the Istri Wing President of the SAD (B). Gulshan had defeated youth congress leader Sukhwinder Singh Danny, known as a part of the core team of AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi, with a margin of more than 60,000 votes in 2009.
Congress candidate in the fray is Joginder Singh, three times MLA from Panjgrain and Jaitu. When contacted, Joginder Singh(55) said that he had accepted the challenge of Akali Dal as yet another opportunity to prove his fighting skill single handedly and was determined to wrest this seat from Akali Dal.
President of the FCI workers Union, he is being helped in campaigning by the wide network of workers in Moga, Faridkot and Jaitu. Also, all labour unions affiliated to INTUC (All India Trade Union Congress) have also declared their support to him.
In his public meetings, Joginder Singh criticises both the Deputy Chief Minister and Revenue Minister for 'capturing' every business from drugs to sand and transport saying 'they have taken over the sand, gravel and drug
trade and the white powder is being being sold with government patronage.
Making it a triangular tussle is Prof Sadhu Singh of Aam Admi Party (AAP) for whom the newly- registered voters specially youth and students community are campaigning and hoping for a win.
The AAP entry in the electoral arena is bound to make the contest interesting and the fight fierce. He remains a crowd puller at road shows and his political speeches are serious in tone and tenor.He says politics has been degenerating into a dictatorial setup since 1947. His prime concern is to get on track the stalled projects in the Faridkot lok sabha constituency.
Bibi Gulshan is on a weak footing with most of her traditional campaigners away seeking votes for
Harsimrat Kaur Badal in Dharamkot or for BJP leader Arun Jaitley in Amritsar.Also internal squabbles are affecting the campaign.
According to Returning Officer (RO)Mohammed Tayaab the district administration was fully prepared to conduct peaceful, fair and free polling scheduled for April 30. As many as 1433055 voters including 676305 female would cast their franchise.
Fardikot Lok Sabha constituency registered 4629 new voters. 27 flying squads and 27 surveillance teams have been established in each of the nine assembly segments to check inflow of liquor, drugs and cash. Adequate police and para military forces are being deployed to conduct peaceful, fair and free polling and he also assured that nobody would be allowed to threaten voters. He also said that about 93 per cent arms licences had been deposited. The RO also said that of the total of 1531 booths, 466 will be super sensitive and 522 as sensitive.
The constituency has 9 segments-- Moga, Dharamkot, Nihal singh wala and Baghapurana of Moga district, Kotkapura, Jaitu and Faridkot of Faridkot district, Gidderbaha of Muktsar district and Rampura Phul of Bathinda district.
(Posted on 22-04-2014)