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Ludhiana South: From Cong, SAD stronghold to Bains brothers' citadel since 2012

This time, AAP, SSM, BJP to make contest multi-cornered

Ludhiana South: From Cong, SAD stronghold to Bains brothers' citadel since 2012

Photo for representation only.

Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, January 21

The Ludhiana South Assembly constituency, which was re-constituted in place of Ludhiana Rural following the delimitation in 2009, has remained the citadel of Balwinder Singh Bains, who along with his younger brother MLA Simarjit Singh Bains, had founded the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) in 2016.

Balwinder, who was elected as an Independent MLA from the seat, in 2012, was re-elected as legislator from here on the ticket of the LIP in 2017.

Prior to the entry of Balwinder (62), in the poll fray from here, the Ludhiana South segment, which was one of the total 14 Vidhan Sabha constituencies in the state’s biggest and largest Ludhiana district, in terms of area and population, had remained the stronghold of the ruling Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

While the LIP and the SAD, with its new ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), have reposed faith in their previous candidates – sitting MLA Balwinder Singh Bains and former MLA Hira Singh Gabria, respectively, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which will be contesting the elections from the seat for the first time, has nominated a new face, Rajinder Pal Kaur Chhina.

While Balwinder was riding high on what he claims as his “pro-people performance”, the SAD’s Gabria and the AAP’s Chhina were highlighting what they alleged “failures” of the two-time legislator in terms of development of the constituency and promises made with people.

However, the ruling Congress, which had finished a runner-up in 2017, was yet to declare its candidate from here. The newly-formed two farmers’ outfits — Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM), comprising 19 farm unions, including the one led by Balbir Singh Rajewal, and Sanyukt Sangharsh Party (SSP), formed by Haryana farm leader Gurnam Singh Charuni, which have also formed an alliance, and a new-found alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), former CM Capt Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt), led by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, were also still undecided on their choices for the seat for the high-stakes Assembly polls slated for February 20.

Balwinder, who had registered two consecutive wins from here in the past, said he was getting a massive response from people of his constituency on the basis of his 10-year service and was confident of his third successive victory this time.

Gabria (73), who had represented the seat twice in 2007 and 1997 and had also remained a cabinet minister in the Parkash Singh Badal-led state government from 2007 to 2012, said he was contesting the elections on the plank of development and uplift of Dalits, which he alleged were ignored during the previous 10 years.

Chhina, who was contesting her maiden elections, said people were fed up with successive rulers and were eager for change this time. Having joined the anti-graft movement spearheaded by Anna Hazare from Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, she had been associated with AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal since then.

In 2017, when AAP had supported the LIP from here under their alliance, Balwinder had defeated Bhupinder Singh Sidhu of the Congress by 30,917 votes. Balwinder had polled 53,955 votes, which accounted for 53.54 per cent of the total polled votes, against 23,038 votes, constituting 22.86 per cent vote share, polled by Sidhu. Gabria had ended third with 20,554 votes, accounting for 20.4 per cent vote share. All other six candidates, including BSP’s Charan Singh, had lost their security deposits, while 944 voters, constituting 0.94 per cent vote share, had opted for ‘none of the above’ (NOTA).

In 2012 also, Balwinder had trounced the SAD’s Hakam Singh Giaspura while Ashok Prashar of the Congress had finished third.

Earlier, the Congress had won the seat, which was known as Ludhiana Rural from 1977 to 2007, and Ludhiana South from 1951 to 1972, seven times, while the SAD had represented this constituency four times.

This time, the constituency has registered a 16.18 per cent increase in the number of voters, which have gone up from 1,49,455 in 2017 to 1,73,631, including 98,886 male, 74,732 female and 13 third gender electorates for the 2022 elections.

Candidatespeak

I will register a hat-trick with my third successive victory this time. People of my constituency have reposed faith in me. — Balwinder Singh Bains, LIP MLA

People have seen the difference between services rendered by me and rivals during past decade. Now, it’s SAD’s turn to again represent the seat. — Hira Singh Gabria, SAD-BSP

We’re getting a good response from the public for bringing about change in the state in this elections. People are fed up with traditional parties. — Rajinder Pal Kaur Chhina, AAP

The winners

Balwinder Singh Bains: 2017 (LIP), 2012 (Independent)

Hira Singh Gabria (SAD): 2007, 1997

Malkit Singh Birmi (Congress): 1992

Jagdev Singh Tajpuri (SAD): 1985

Bir Paul Singh (Congress): 1980

Dhanraj Singh (SAD): 1977

Joginder Pal Pandey (Congress): 1972, 1969

VA Vishwanath (BJS): 1967

Shamsher Singh (SAD): 1962

Ramdayal Singh (Congress): 1957

Bhim Sen Sachar (Congress): 1951

#BalwinderSinghBains #SimarjitSinghBains

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