Close contest for Panthic seat - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Close contest for Panthic seat

Close contest for Panthic seat

Arun Sharma

Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, May 17

In the Anandpur Sahib segment, the fight has narrowed between Congress candidate Manish Tewari and SAD’s Prem Singh Chandumajra.

During roadshows, the key issue of development largely remained ignored as most of them remained busy in mudslinging. In fact, the controversies started soon after the Congress announced former Union Minister Manish Tewari as its candidate and sitting MP and SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra claimed Anandpur Sahib as a Panthic seat and termed the former as an outsider. Tewari, however, hit back by raising controversies courted by Chandumajra in the past.

Tewari is having the edge over rivals owing to sustained campaigning and support of Congress MLAs. Senior leaders Balbir Singh Sidhu, Charanjit Singh Channi, Rana KP Singh and Brinder Singh Dhillon campaigned for him. On the other hand, Chandumajra is counting on development works, including road projects, trains, and international airport, brought during his tenure. Another factor which has given him the hope of repeating his victory is that the anguish among the people, which was quite visible against the SAD last time due to illegal mining and drug menace issue, is missing now.

The AAP has showed faith in Narinder Singh Shergill, who had unsuccessfully contested Assembly election two years ago from Mohali. This time Shergill’s nomination was rejected following which he moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court from where he got respite. Few days later, in a jolt to the AAP, its sitting Ropar MLA Amarjit Sandoa joined the Congress.

The newly formed SAD (Taksali) has relied upon former Congress leader Bir Devinder Singh, who is set to dent the vote bank of both the SAD and the Congress.

The Punjab Democratic Alliance has fielded BSP candidate Vikram Singh Sodhi, a businessman, from this constituency. The party, which got 69,124 votes earlier, is expected to increase its vote bank substantially this time. The CPI (M) has fielded comrade Raghunath Singh.

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