Punjab poll 2022: Farming, desecration issues likely to dominate in 6 rural Assembly segments of Amritsar

Candidates will have to deftly walk through heterogeneous framework of society without disturbing its age-old unity

Punjab poll 2022: Farming, desecration issues likely to dominate in 6 rural Assembly segments of Amritsar

Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, January 18

Issues related to farming and beadbi (desecration) are likely to dominate in the six rural Assembly constituencies of this border district, which has 11 Assembly seats in all.

BABA BAKALA

The Congress has fielded its incumbent MLA Santokh Singh Bhalaipur, while SAD leaders are finding it tough to take a call on announcing the name of its party candidate from the seat. The names of two former MLAs of Baba Bakala — Manjit Singh Manna and Baljit Singh Jalal Usma — are doing the rounds. SAD leaders will have to avoid a possible rebellion before announcing the candidate’s name.

PARTY CANDIDATE IN FRAY

CONG Santokh Singh Bhalaipur (sitting MLA)

AAP Dalbir Singh Tong

SAD Yet to announce name


AJNALA

Sitting Congress MLA Harpartap Singh Ajnala will contest election from the seat for the third team. He will fight a triangular contest with SAD and AAP. Once a rebel, Amarpal Singh Bonny again joined his parent party — Akali Dal — and will be testing his fate for the third time from the seat. Earlier, he had been elected twice from the seat in 2007 and 2012. His father Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, too, has represented the constituency in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha four times.

PARTY CANDIDATE IN FRAY

CONG Harpartap Singh Ajnala (sitting MLA)

AAP Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal

SAD Amarpal Singh Bonny


RAJASANSI

Veteran Akali leader Vir Singh Lopoke, a former MLA, will contest from Rajasansi. While Congress MLA Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria will be putting his entire might to retain the seat, AAP has fielded Baldev Singh this time. In the last edition of the Assembly election (2017), it had mandated Jagjot Singh Dhillon, who had garnered 10.08 per cent votes.

PARTY CANDIDATE IN FRAY

CONG Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria (sitting MLA)

AAP Baldev Singh

SAD Vir Singh Lopoke


ATTARI

This is the only Assembly seat from where the Congress is yet to announce its candidate. Congress leader Tarsem Singh DC is presently its MLA. Party insiders state that the name of popular Punjabi singer Lakhwinder Wadali is doing the rounds, while Navneet Kaur, a woman leader in Youth Congress, and Tarsem Singh Sialka, a member of Punjab State SC Commission, has also thrown their hats in the ring. Keeping in view the popularity of the segment, as it houses the Attari-Wagah Joint Checkpost and the Integrated Checkpost, the AAP has fielded Jaswinder Singh Ramdas, a retired ADC.

PARTY CANDIDATE IN FRAY

CONG Yet to announce name

AAP Jaswinder Singh Ramdas, ADC (retd)

SAD Gulzar Singh Ranike


JANDIALA GURU

Congress repeated its sitting MLA Sukhwinder Singh Danny Bandala with the hope that he will retain his seat. He polled 53,042 votes in the last election. AAP has once again fielded Harbhajan Singh, a retired ETO, who had had secured 33,912 votes. SAD is yet to take a final call on its candidates from the seat, which is situated close to the holy city. Since Dr Dalbir Singh, SAD candidate from the seat in the 2017 Assembly election moved to Amritsar West, his predecessor Malkiat Singh AR is being considered by senior SAD leaders. He had successfully contested the election in 2007. Since he is not keeping well, his son Sandeep Singh, who has been looking after the party affairs in the constituency, is likely to be fielded from the seat.

PARTY CANDIDATE IN FRAY

CONG Sukhwinder Singh Danny Bandala (sitting MLA)

AAP Harbhajan Singh ETO (retd)

SAD Yet to announce name


MAJITHA

The important seat is represented by senior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia. Despite opposition, the Congress high command has fielded Jagwinder Pal Singh, alias Jagga Majithia, 60, from the seat. According to political pundits, the party fielded Jagga Majithia, younger brother of its old guard Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli Majithia, who had switched over to the Aam Aadmi Party, to prevent split in party votes. The deft move to field brother against brother is aimed at sending a message that the rest of the family stands with the party. Jagga Majithia, who had won an election of councillor in 1992 and remained the general secretary of the Punjab Youth Congress, claimed that he had support of the entire party workers in the Assembly segment. Dismayed Congress rural president Bhagwantpal Singh Sachar, who had been campaigning and distributing even grants in the Assembly segment, was brought back to the party fold within 24 hours after he switched over to the BJP.

PARTY CANDIDATE IN FRAY

CONG Jagwinder Pal Singh

AAP Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli Majithia

SAD Bikram Majithia (sitting MLA)

Even as the Union Government repealed all three laws on farming after nearly a year-long peaceful protest, issues related to agriculture are likely to be a dominant factor.

Stagnation in crop output, limited returns, inadequate steps to realise diversification and complete loan waiver would be tough questions to be answered by leaders, especially coming from conventional ruling parties such as SAD and Congress. In addition, there are several matters unique to the constituency that require separate attention.

Parties contesting elections and their candidates have to deftly walk through heterogeneous framework of society without disturbing its age-old unity.

Meanwhile, the election officials will have to keep a close watch on remote areas of the district that extraneous factors such as money, booze and muscle power should not influence the voting pattern.

Out of the six Assembly segments, the Congress announced candidates for five seats in its first list containing 86 names. It is yet to develop consensus on a candidate from Attari. The SAD has not announced candidates for Baba Bakala and Jandiala Guru. Akali patriarch Parkash Singh Badala and former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal are likely to announce candidates for these two constituencies during their visit to the city tomorrow.

#Punjabpoll2022

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