It's do or die for SAD, Congress nominees in Ropar : The Tribune India

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It's do or die for SAD, Congress nominees in Ropar

Both Daljit Singh Cheema, Barinder Singh Dhillon lost out to AAP candidate Amarjit Singh Sandoa in last Assembly elections

It's do or die for SAD, Congress nominees in Ropar

Daljit Singh Cheema (SAD), Barinder Singh Dhillon (Cong), Dinesh Kumar Chadha (AAP), Iqbal Singh Lalpura (BJP)



Tribune News Service

Arun Sharma

Ropar, February 14

The political future of SAD leader and former minister Daljit Singh Cheema as well as Punjab Youth Congress president Barinder Singh Dhillon is on the stake as both are trying their luck for the second time after losing out to AAP candidate Amarjit Singh Sandoa in the last Assembly elections.

Considered outsiders by political rivals both within their parties and outside, a second consecutive loss for any of them would provide an opportunity to their detractors. The fight, once again, is not easy for both. The AAP, while dropping its sitting MLA Sandoa, who remained mired in controversies during most part of his tenure, is banking on advocate and RTI activist Dinesh Kumar Chadha.

The move is aimed at not only countering anti-incumbency but also helping the AAP protect its supporter base in the Nurpur Bedi area, from where it got an overwhelming response last time when voters rallied behind Sandoa, a native.

Chadha, also belonging to Barwa village, near Nurpur Bedi, has been able to keep the AAP flock together to some extent. However, it will be a challenge for Chadha to retain the seat for the party given the controversies surrounding Sandoa and lack of development over the past five years. SAD candidate Cheema, who was quite active in the area and even got numerous development works carried out during his tenure from 2012-17, was pushed to the third spot in the last elections owing to anti-incumbency coupled with the AAP wave in area.

Staying out of power for five years and a split between the SAD-BJP alliance have made Cheema’s task harder. The BJP fielding Iqbal Singh Lalpura, belonging to the Saini community and a native of Nurpur Bedi, has compounded Cheema’s problems. The Saini community has a considerable presence in the constituency. Further, Sanyukt Samaj Morcha candidate Davinder Singh Bajwa, a sports promoter and social worker, may hurt the SAD vote bank.

The Congress has once again reposed faith in Punjab Youth Congress president Dhillon, who finished second from the seat in the 2017 elections. Dhillon’s elevation and his success in getting a majority of Congress candidates win in the Ropar civic body elections has given confidence to supporters, which may yield dividends for him in the elections.

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