It’s local versus ‘outsider’ here - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

It’s local versus ‘outsider’ here


It’s local versus ‘outsider’ here

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 17

The fight for the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency, it seems, has narrowed down between traditional rivals – Congress and SAD-BJP.

Congress’ sitting MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla is pitted against SAD-BJP candidate and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. While AAP’s Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal seems on a sticky wicket, Punjab Democratic Alliance’s (PDA) Daswinder Kaur is the only woman candidate of the total 30 in the fray.

Amid anti-incumbency factor against the state government, Congress’ Aujla looks to capitalise on being local and easily accessible. In Parliament, he had raised the issue of shifting international flights from Amritsar, Jallianwala Bagh being ignored, GST on Golden Temple and other gurdwara kitchens.

He also intends to spruce up health and education facilities and revive the Special Economic Zone package for border area allotted during the tenure of the previous UPA government.

On the other hand, diplomat-turned-politician Puri tried to connect with residents by mentioning his roots in Amritsar. Lately, he released his vision document titled as “Puri for Pragati”.

Having the edge due to his “Delhi association”, he claims to evolve a “ New Amritsar”, as a lighthouse in PM Modi’s New India by 2022, through flagship programmes, including Swachh Bharat, Housing for All, Smart City, AMRUT mission and creating investment opportunities, skill development, and avenues for the youth in the Central Armed Forces.

Yet, people believe morein ‘delivery mechanism’, which is negligible.

The rampant drug abuse prevalent in the border district or for that matter in the state has faded into insignificance during the campaign, though it was a biggest issue during the 2017 Assembly polls. Locals, however, are annoyed over the non-implementation of the Central projects such as Amritsar-Ferozepur railway line, permanent campus of IIM, Post Graduate National Institute of Horticulture Research and Education, Software Technology Park of India and others.

Unlike 2014, the current Lok Sabha polls witnessed a dim campaigning across the party line, except during the last leg.

Those in fray

Congress’ sitting MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla is pitted against SAD-BJP candidate and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. While AAP’s Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal seems on a sticky wicket, PDA’s Daswinder Kaur is the only woman nominee in fray.

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