Jalandhar West voters weigh options ahead of byelections : The Tribune India

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Jalandhar West voters weigh options ahead of byelections

Jalandhar West voters weigh options ahead of byelections


Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, July 8

Disillusionment from successive governments and disappointment over rampant underdevelopment marks the reigning voter sentiment in Jalandhar West as the constituency goes to poll on July 10. Waterlogging, sewerage and employment remain key issues on their mind.

Street is always waterlogged

About 250 of us live in Jalandhar West. Our children have joined akharas. Our street doesn't have lights and it's always waterlogged. But all we want is that our kids be given jobs so that our future generations don’t languish.— Naseeb Alam , Singer

As a steady stream of police, paramilitary and politicians entered the Jalandhar West area ahead of the July 10 bypoll, a long traffic jam from Basti Sheikh’s saw mill and Model House all the way up to Ravidas Chowk harried commuters on Monday evening.

Basti Sheikh Furniture store owner Kartar Singh is peeved, “The governments didn’t do anything. For the first time, near the corporation’s zonal office, they placed water suction vehicles to relieve the 120-feet road of standing water after recent rains. Even ahead of the by-election, water accumulated and harried the residents. But they have never placed vehicles earlier. Business isn’t as good as it used to be. Our shop has been here from the 1980s. People are sick of the cycle of political turncoats busy blaming each other.”

He added that, “However, this poll will be different from the previous ones as rather than a party, individuals will be voted. While the Bhagat community backs Bhagat ji, the Congress candidate also has many takers.”

Gulshan, an elderly electrician getting his hair cut at a roadside barber shop, said, “I have lived in the area for 20 years. The problem of waterlogging remains the same, and the poor condition of roads has also not changed. We don’t like anyone, but the Congress seems strong.”

A 51-year-old t-shirt vend owner says, “I’ve always been aligned to the Jan Sangh but I’m weighing my options.”

Sunita, who works at a foam factory, said that a few days ago, going down the road was difficult as water had accumulated. “My blue card has not been made and we are also not getting ration. They have pardoned power bills now, but our previous electricity bill of Rs 50,000 is due. How will we pay it?” Sunita’s husband and brother-in-law are also factory workers.

At the ‘Marassian Wali Gali’ in Raja Garden, the community has joined akharas (wrestling) as wedding singing isn’t as lucrative anymore. Singer Naseeb Alam says, “About 250 of us live in Jalandhar West. Our children have joined akharas. Our street doesn’t have lights and it’s always waterlogged. But all we want is that our kids be given jobs so that our future generations don’t languish.”

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