Learning from past two poll losses, BJP banks on Jat Sikh in Amritsar : The Tribune India

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Learning from past two poll losses, BJP banks on Jat Sikh in Amritsar

Learning from past two poll losses, BJP banks on Jat Sikh in Amritsar

Taranjit Singh Sandhu



Tribune News Service

Manmeet Singh Gill

Amritsar, April 8

In a marked shift from its previous experiment with Hindu and non-Jat Sikh candidates, the BJP has fielded Taranjit Singh Sandhu as its candidate from here.

Ever since Navjot Singh Sidhu had beaten six-time MP RL Bhatia in the 2004 LS poll, the constituency has always elected a Jat as its MP.

BJP stalwarts such as Arun Jatiley and Hardeep Singh Puri had lost to Captain Amarinder Singh in 2014 and Gurjit Singh Aujla in 2019 poll. Even as the relations between the BJP and the agrarian Jat community are strained ever since it brought three agriculture laws, the candidature of Sandhu can be seen a move to get Jat votes.

Though the BJP has a strong base in the urban areas, it banked heavily on its former alliance partner SAD in getting votes from the five rural Assembly segments.

“Jaitley and Puri were urbanite and hence even SAD could not help them win the elections. Taranjit Singh, on the other hand, has the suffix Sandhu in his name, which is much familiar to rural voters. Moreover, his use of majhi dialect too is familiar to the voters,” said Satpal Singh, a retired schoolteacher with keen interest in politics.

The BJP move to field Sandhu this time is seen as a move to attract agrarian community votes. However, it is still to be seen that if he will be able to amend ties with his own community as farm unions are also exhorting villagers to not allow BJP candidates in their villages.

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#BJP #Navjot Sidhu #Sikhs


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