Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 19
Campaigning for the October 21 bypoll on four Assembly seats in Punjab drew to a close today. The main contest is between the Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance. The alliance partners are contesting two seats each in the bypoll at Mukerian, Phagwara, Dakha and Jalalabad.
Phagwara BJP candidate Rajesh Bagha faces a tough competition from Congress candidate Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal. Considered to be a BJP stronghold, Phagwara has nine candidates in the fray. BJP’s Jangi Lal Mahajan, who has been chosen over party MLA Arunesh Skahar, is pitted against the widow of former MLA Rajneesh Babbi, Indu Bala, in Mukerian, where the sympathy factor is playing strong. The former MLA’s father, Dr Kjewal Krishan, who was a former Speaker, had represented the seat five times.
Amidst the allegations of use of muscle power and misuse of government machinery by the Congress and counter allegations against the Akalis, Dakha is set to witness a keen contest between Congress candidate Capt Sandeep Sandhu, a close confidant of Capt Amarinder Singh, and Akali candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali, a close aide of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.
In Jalalabad segment, too, Congress candidate Raminder Singh Awla faces allegation of misusing the government machinery. His march to wresting seat from SAD candidate Raj Singh Dibbipura, who has come in place of Sukhbir Badal, will not be easy. The polls are being seen as strong indicators to the public response for the Congress government which is just half way in its current tenure. “After a successful poll campaign in four constituencies, I am confident of a massive win in the bypolls,” tweeted Amarinder.
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