Nabha, February 7
A cracker of a contest is expected in the Nabha (reserved) constituency where five-time Congress MLA and former Cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot faces a stiff challenge from two men eager to make a debut in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, besides anti-incumbency. The three were locked in a bitter battle in 2017 too, when Dharamsot managed to register a comfortable win.
Equations changed after Capt Amarinder’s exit
- Nabha, where Congress’ Sadhu Singh Dharamsot is in the fray, is considered party stronghold, but equations have changed after Capt Amarinder’s exit from party
- AAP has reposed faith in Gurdev Singh Dev Mann, runner-up in the 2017 polls, while SAD-BJP has again fielded turncoat Kabir Dass, who came third in the last elections
Interestingly, all three are outsiders but promise to serve Nabha as their home seat. In 2017, Dharamsot won the seat, defeating Gurdev Singh Dev Mann of the AAP by 18,995 votes.
Though the seat is considered a Congress stronghold, situations have changed ever since former CM Capt Amarinder Singh quit the party to float his own political outfit. While the SAD-BSP has again fielded turncoat Kabir Dass, a senior deputy mayor during the previous Congress rule in Patiala, the AAP has reposed trust in Mann, son of a cycle mechanic.
While the AAP nominee is be banking on anti-incumbency, Kabir Dass, a pointsman for Dera Sachkhand Ballan, is focussing on development, besides relying on the community vote bank. Dass is quite vocal about his Ravidassia background. The community has more than 35,000 votes in Nabha, while the Baazigar community represented by Dharamsot is under 6,000. “You should decide for yourself as to who should be your MLA,” he adds. He had finished a dismal third in the 2017 elections, polling 32,482 votes.
“I belong to a poor family and whatever I have achieved in my life is all because of my father’s hardwork. Nabha has suffered a lot due to the Congress MLA who went on to become a Cabinet minister but did nothing for the constituency, which is still struggling with open sewerage, improper garbage disposal and clean drinking water,” Mann tells voters.
In 2012, Dharamsot had defeated SAD’s Balwant Singh by 22,548 votes. In 2007, he had won from Amloh.
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