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Posted at: May 19, 2019, 7:52 AM; last updated: May 19, 2019, 7:52 AM (IST)

6.46 lakh city voters to elect their MP today

Nine women among 36 candidates in fray
6.46 lakh city voters to elect their MP today
Election officials leave after receiving EVMs for the Lok Sabha polls at a school in Phase 3B1, Mohali, on Saturday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: Vicky

Sushil Manav & Kaveesha Kohli
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 18

Will Kirron Kher of the BJP get another chance to represent Chandigarh in the Lok Sabha or former minister Pawan Kumar Bansal would wrest the seat from her? Or will the city elect some other leader as its new MP?

Over 6.46 lakh voters in the UT will exercise their right to franchise tomorrow to provide answer to this million dollar question. Thirty-six candidates, including nine women, are in the fray for the all-important Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat. The main contenders are Kirron Kher of the BJP, Pawan Kumar Bansal of the Congress and Harmohan Dhawan of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), but political observers believe that the main contest is likely to remain between Kher and Bansal.

Kher, who had defeated Bansal as well as Gul Panag of AAP to win this seat in 2014 while riding on a Modi wave, is again banking on the “Modi factor”. The sitting MPsays, “I am confident of my victory as I have received massive support in the run-up to the election.” City BJP president Sanjay Tandon says that the country has decided to re-elect PM Narendra Modi and the city would contribute to it by electing Kher.

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal, however, does not see any “Modi wave” in the UT and does not view this election between him and PM Narendra Modi.

“We are in a parliamentary democracy. People will vote on local issues and keeping in mind the local candidates,” says Bansal. He asks, “What message did the PM give when he came to the city and did not even mention the local candidate (Kher) of his party during his speech?”

Bansal adds that in any case, Modi has done nothing for the city. The budget allocation for the city was Rs 813 crore in 2014-15 and in 2019 -20 it is Rs 401 crore under capital head, which has caused a paucity of funds, says the Congress candidate.

Bansal claims that he has received “wonderful spontaneous reception” wherever he went during campaigning.

AAP candidate Harmohan Dhawan says that voters find in him a “credible alternative” to Bansal and Kher.

Dhawan says he is the most accessible candidate and has received a “very good response” as he campaigned door to door in all markets and the 22 villages in the UT.

What voters must have it with them

Voters will have to carry voter slip issued by the Election Commission of India, along with the voter ID card to the polling booth. Those who don’t have voter ID card can furnish any other photo ID proof, including passport, driving licence, service identity cards issued by government, PSU or company, bank or post office passbook, PAN card, health insurance smart card, pension document, official identity card (issued by MP or councillor) and Aadhaar card. 

UT poll-ready

  • 36 Number of candidates in the fray
  • 6,46,084 Number of voters in city 
  • 597 Polling booths set up in city
  • 24 Model booths where voters will be offered red carpet welcome
  • 230  Booths declared sensitive


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