Poll din ends in Jalalabad, jobs major issue for voters

FAZILKA: Campaigning for the high-profile Jalalabad constituency ended today. Voters, who witnessed a one-sided contest during the previous three Assembly elections, are likely to see a fierce electoral battle between traditional political rivals — the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

Our Correspondent

Fazilka, October 19

Campaigning for the high-profile Jalalabad constituency ended today. Voters, who witnessed a one-sided contest during the previous three Assembly elections, are likely to see a fierce electoral battle between traditional political rivals — the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

The polling will take place on Monday. Both ruling and Opposition leaders have put in their full might with the SAD trying to retain the seat while the Congress trying to wrest it.

While only a few hours are left for polling, the voters are still in a dilemma. “Although Sukhbir got streets and lanes constructed in villages, he failed to provide jobs to youths. Instead, drugs have gripped the region. Similarly, Capt Amarinder Singh’s promise of ‘ghar ghar naukri’ has also proved to be hollow,” said an unemployed youth Amrik Singh of Chak Bhawra village.

Unemployment has emerged as a major election issue. Congress candidate Raminder Singh Awla while campaigning in Kandhwala village today promised to set up an industry in Jalalabad.

The Congress is keen to shatter the Akali stronghold. The road show by Amarinder three days ago in which a large number of people participated has given a fresh impetus to the Congress rank and file.

Sukhbir Singh Badal has claimed to spend Rs 1,500 crore to nurture the border constituency and virtually turned it into an SAD bastion. Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Youth Akali Dal pesident Bikram Singh Majithia, former Cabinet Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon and Sukhbir himself have campaigned extensively in the constituency. The SAD leaders are raising issues of inflated electricity bills, granting Congress ticket to an “outsider” and “misuse” of government machinery.

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