Sunday, October 20, 2019

Posted at: Mar 15, 2019, 7:54 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2019, 4:28 PM (IST)KARNAL

Voters have had enough of carpetbaggers

Only three of 11 MPs have been locals so far | Can’t reach them even once in 5 yrs, say residents

Parveen Arora

The Karnal parliamentary constituency, comprising Karnal and Panipat districts, has a trend of electing candidates who do not belong to any of these two districts. Of the 11 MPs elected in 17 parliamentary elections held in Karnal since 1952, only Madho Ram Sharma, Mohinder Singh and ID Swami belonged to Karnal. The remaining eight were outsiders.

The outsiders elected as MPs from Karnal include Virender Kumar Satyawadi (1952), Subhadra Joshi (1957), Swami Rameshwranand (1962), Bhagwat Dayal Sharma (1977), Chiranji Lal Sharma (1980, 1984, 1989 and 1991), Bhajan Lal (1998), Arvind Sharma (2004 and 2009) and Ashwani Kumar Chopra (2014).

But in the coming elections, the choice of an outsider may spoil the chances of parties as the voters here have a common complaint against various political parties in this regard. Residents often complain about the inaccessibility of their sitting MP Ashwani Chopra and allege that he has not even visited all the villages in his constituency.

“Our MP remained out of our reach in his five-year tenure. We are happy with the works being done by the PM, but the absence of Chopra from the field has disappointed us,” said Mahinder Singh, a resident of Baldi village.

“The MP has even failed to provide basic amenities in our village, which lacks roads, sanitation and cleanliness. Our village is just 1 km away from the district headquarters, but it comes under Indri Assembly segment that is around 24 km from our village. We had raised this issue on several occasions, but to no avail,” he added.

Public representatives should be from among the people so that residents could approach him/her easily, said Amit Kumar, a resident of Panipat. “The past of the constituency shows that most political parties have preferred to field parachutes candidates, ignoring the local ones,” he added.

Residents praised the 10 per cent quota to the economically weaker section, but criticised the Union Government for fixing Rs 6,000 as assured income. “It is a meagre amount for a small and marginal farmer that does not even cover the expenses of pesticides and fertilisers,” said Charan Singh, another resident of Baldi village.

The 10 per cent quota will help in getting jobs for youths of economically weaker section, said Raman Mehla, a resident of Baldi village.

Voters hailed the transparent recruitment of Group-D candidates by the state government, but criticised the Centre for not generating enough jobs for them.

“The state government has made transparent recruitment of candidates, but the Centre has failed to provide jobs to the youth,” said Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Salaru village.

Ashok Kumar, another resident of Salaru village, said, “I am a shopkeeper and am happy with the working of the PM. But all political parties should give ticket to local residents,” he said.

As per the data available, Punjabi voters (Arora Khatri Punjabi, Sikh and Jat Sikh) are in majority, followed by Jat, Brahmin, Harijan, Ror, Balmiki and others. Before the previous election, this seat was known as Brahmin seat.

In the past few elections with the exception of the last one, Brahmin candidates, be it Arvind Sharma, ID Swami, Bhagwat Dayal Sharma or Chiranji Lal, have won from this seat. The BJP played the Punjabi card in the last elections and gave ticket to Chopra.

Key players

| Congress | BJP | INLD | JJP | AAP | Independents


The Karnal constituency comprises Karnal and Panipat districts and has nine Assembly segments. Of these eight (Karnal, Indri, Nilokheri, Gharaunda, Assandh, Panipat Urban, Panipat Rural and Israna) are with the BJP, while Samalkha is with an Independent who later extended support to the BJP.

Total voters




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