Parliamentary Elections 2009
Punjab‘s Political Heirs fight —
The two political families of Punjab where winning has become a matter of personal prestige more than a matter of Public Service is likely to see its toughest contest in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections of 2009 .
The rivalry between SAD President cum Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and the Maharaja family of Capt Amarinder Singh leading the Congress’s poll campaign committee is legendry.
It would also be a litmus test of popularity for Capt who had lost Assembly polls to his rival the Badals and family in 2007 while for (Bhartiya Janta Party/Shiromani Akali Dal) BJP-SAD ruling coalition, is facing a wave of resentment from its urban voter on account of severe power shortage in the state, denial of support to first sikh PM of India, as also the raw deal faced by farmers and industry.
For Sukhbir Badal the election would make or mar his future as the obvious heir to the ‘Badal Throne’ going by the results . although the BSP and other parties such as CPM, CPI , SAD(A) and other parties have floated their candidates some in coalition but they seem to be outmatched by the line-up of candidates declared by arch rivals Congress versus SAD-BJP
Rashmi Talwar would piece together the varied quotients in different parliamentary segments of the state out of which Patiala and Bathinda top the chart.
Capt’s wife Preneet Kaur, sitting Congress MP, is readying for a third innings contesting against SAD’s Prem Singh Chandumajra, once a close confidante of SGPC president for quarter of century– late Gurcharan Singh Tohra while BSP has fielded Deepak Joshi.
Main issues are infrastructural development, new plans for Education institutes and improvement in the sports structure. Parneet has carefully nurtured her constituency although public money being used for beautification of Moti Mahal has caused dent .
After delimitation, Sanour, Dera Bassi, Patiala-Rural and Nabha have been added while Assembly segments, Banaur, Dakala, Sunam and Lehra Gaga of the total nine are no longer in the Patiala Lok Sabha constituency.
Is likely to see a do-or-die battle with Raninder Singh son of former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh is pitted against Harsimrat Kaur wife of Sukhbir Badal, Deputy Chief Minister and daughter-in-law of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal .Both are greenhorns in politics. It remains to be seen who would win with Interestingly, Ishar Singh son of former sikh militant Jarnail Singh Bhindeanwale in the poll fray as well as CPI’s Hardev Arshi while BSP has declared Nemchand Chaudhary from this former reserved seat . Harsimrat has started her political career endorsing the “Nanhe Chhau” for saving trees and the girl child. The social cause that is close to the Punjabi heart due to skewered sex ratio of 837 females for 1000 males has emerged as the most shameful and heinous figures in the state that is also facing a loss of green cover to unchecked construction . Main issues are planning big industry but the greater issue is alarming rise in cancer cases, drug addiction and faulty farmer friendly policies to stall the trend of suicide amongst farmers.
Lambi, Bhucho Mandi, Bathinda-Rural, Maur have been added to the constituency while Nathana, Pakka Kalan, ,Joga Rampura Phul have been eliminated and it has been declared a general constituency.
In this border constituency cricketer turned politician Navjot Sidhu of BJP is faced with former mayor and three time MLA Om Prakash Soni of the Congress besides former Governor Lt. Gen. B.K.N. Chibber (Retd.) nominated by BSP.
Navjot has raised his voice in Parliament for Amritsar which has been, the holy city’s first. His concerted effort at development led to a waste management plan but his arrogance at times has ruffled many feathers amongst the coalition partner SAD. Soni meanwhile is facing allegations of having connections with drug cartels and facing opposition and undercutting from his own party.
Major issues are SEZ (special Economic Zone) and industrial corridor, airport upgradation , ICP (integrated check post) at Attari, Visa center, air-conditioned public transport (big and small ), setting up the Central University, charting a course for medical Tourism besides basic “Master Plan” for infrastructural and other development in city, potable water supply to rural areas, sewerage and most of all weaning away youth from drug addiction.
This time Rajasansi, Amritsar-East, Attari have been included in the nine Assembly segments while Batala, Qadian, Verka have been left out .
The congress has fielded Manish Tewari ,AICC spokesman, for his second innings in this industrial hub and is rivaled by SAD candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib who deserted congress to join the opposite camp of SAD .The BSP nominated Kehar Singh.
Ludhiana Needs Big industrial projects, airport, more electric supply for industry, beautification and greenery besides upgradation of educational institutes.
Of the total nine segments, Qila Raipur, Ludhiana-Rural, Payal, Kum Kalan were eliminated and Ludhiana-South, Atam Nagar, Ludhiana-Central and Gill have been added.
Another border constituency would see a tough contest with Congress’s Jagmeet Singh Brar, pitted against SAD’s Sher Singh Ghubaya. The BSP has fielded Gurdev Singh Mansaiya, a Jat Sikh.
Issues :fast track development of Border villages and townships, open international trade through Hussainiwala border and improvement in power supply.
The constituency has shrunk owing to delimitation with five assembly segments from the former of 10. Jalalabad-West, Guru Harsahai, Ferozepur City and Cantonment, Zira and Dharamkot have been dropped while Muktsar, Fazilka, Abohar, Balluana, Malout are added.
SAD MP and veteran heavy weight Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa is pitted against Rahul Gandhi’s choice of Vijay Inder Singla by congress and LBP President Balwant Singh Ramoowalia supported by CPI and CPM would be triangular contest . The BSP nominated Jamait-ul-Rehman.
Main issues are severe power shortage, optimal management of Ghaggar river, upgradation of Railway and bus stand . Of the total nine Assembly segments in the Sangrur constitutency, Raikot, Sherpur, Dhanaula and Nihal Singh Wala were eliminated while Lekhra Gaga, Sunam, Dhuri ,Mehal Kalan were added.
Sitting SAD MP Paramjit Kaur Gulshan is pitted against Congress’s youth leader Sukhwinder Singh Danny. the BSP has Resham Singh while CPI fielded Kushal Bhaura.
Main Problems here are shortage of potable water, hanging development plans, unfinished construction and development projects and growing drug addiction amongst youth.
Panjgrain, Muktsar, Malout and Lambi are no longer in Faridkot of nine Assembly segments while Dharamkot, Rampura Phul, Jaitu, Nihal Singh Wala were added.
Fatehgarh Sahib (Reserve)
Congress nominee Sukhdev Singh Libra, who quit SAD when he failed to join hands with them against Sikh Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, was rewarded with party ticket by congress for MP seat from this reserve constituency. He faces Deputy Lok Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal .The BSP has fielded Gurnam Singh in this new constituency of Malwa, comprising Bassi Pathana, Amloh, Khanna, Samrala, Sahnewal, Payal, Raikot and Amargarh.
Main issues are industry here has been hit badly due to shortage of power supply besides garbage disposal has not only become the biggest eye-sore but has given rise to umpteenth health problems.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s political adviser Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema will take on Congress nominee Ravneet Singh Bittu grandson of late chief minister Beant Singh and state youth congress president in this new constituency . The CPM has fielded Maha Singh Ruri, while the BSP has Kewal Krishan Chauhan. The parliamentary constituency, has Garshankar, Banga, Nawanshahr, Balachaur, Anandpur Sahib, Rupnagar, Chamkaur Sahib, Kharar besides S.A.S. Nagar. This constituency desires Special Economic Zone (SEZ) demand to be declared divisional Head Quarters and addressing problems of joblessness.
Congress leader Santokh Chaudhary is contesting against BJP’s Som Prakash a former bureaucrat. The BSP has fielded Surinder Kumar Sukhi.
The constituency requires: railways lines and upgradation of rail facilities, industry is in shambles while rural areas need urgent civic amenities.
Balachaur, Garshankar, Mahilpur, Tanda, Gardiwal, Nangal, Anandpur Sahib, Rupnagar have been replaced by Sri Hargobindpur, Bholath, Phagwara, Mukerian, Urmur, Sham Chaurasi, Hoshiarpur and Chabbewal.
This constituency will see popular Punjabi Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans, pitted against senior congress leader Mohinder Singh Kaypee. The BSP has nominated a former divisional forest officer Surjit Singh.
The winning candidate is expected to raise issues of dismal power supply causing heavy losses to industry, elevating policies for sports industry, bad roads, SEZ and flyovers .
Jalandhar South, Lohian, Kapurthala and Sultanpur Lodhi are no longer with this parliamentary seat, which has Jalandhar-West, Jalandhar North, Phillaur and Shahkot added to it.
Another new constituency in the Majha region would witness Rana Gurjit Singh of congress a sitting MP from jalandhar and former MLA Kapurthala against SAD’s Rattan Singh Ajnala. BSP has fielded Surender Singh Sohi. People expect Sultanpur Lodhi to be given ‘holy’ city status, advanced project of Dhussi Dam, overbridge at gaddiwindi and policy on ownership benefits to land owners.
The new constituency comprises Jandiala, Tarn Taran, Khem Karan, Patti, Khadoor Sahib, Baba Bakala, Kapurthala, Sultanpur Lodhi and Zira.
BJP MP and Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna is in a direct fight against senior Congress leader and sitting MLA from Kahnuwan Partap Singh Bajwa. The CPM (P) nominated Mangat Ram Pasla. Gurdaspur Needs a garbage disposal plan , a Fruit Zone in Pathankot and favorable policies to restore sick industrial units in Batala besides basic development of the area.
With Kahanuwan, Dhariwal, Narot Mehra and Mukerian out, it has Bhoa, Qadian, Batala, Dera Baba Nanak.