Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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Patiala and Talwandi Sabo by-Poll – Litmus Test for Congress and Akali Dal – by KS Chawla

By : K S Chawla

Election campaign in Patiala Urban and Talwandi Sabo has picked up and both the Congress and the Shiromini Akali Dal have put everything at stake to win the by poll. As a matter of fact, the two by election to the to Vidhan Sabha seats has become a litmus test for the two major political parties of the state.

KS ChawlaPreneet Kaur wife of Amrinder Singh and former Union Minister for External Affairs is the nominee of the Congress Party from Patiala Urban and Bhagwan Das Juneja has been put up by the Akalidal. AAP Admi Party has fielded Harjeet Singh Adaltiwal a former Akali leader.

At Tawandi Sabo Mohinderjeet Singh Sidhu of the Akali Dal and Harminder Singh Jassi of the Congress are in the fray here. Baljinder Kaur has been put up by the AAP while she faces a AAP rebel Balkar Sidhu who was earlier nominated as official candidate of the AAP party from Talwandi Sabo.

The polling to the two seats would be held on August 21. The by-election has been caused with election of Amarinder Singh as member parliament from Amritsar who has resigned as MLA from Patiala Urban. Mohinderjeet Singh was the Congress MLA from Talwandi Sabo but he resigned and joined the Akali Dal.

Both the by elections are prestige issue for the Congress and the Akali Dal. Patiala Urban is a prestige seat for Congress because Amarinder Singh, the erstwhile scion of Patiala has been representing this seat and now his wife is the official Congress nominee. Preneet Kaur had been elected to Parliament for three times and lost Lok Sabha election in 2014. Winning Patiala urban for Congress has become a must to retain the supremacy of Patiala royals.

Amarinder Singh has taken the command of Patiala in his own hands and is organizing the campaign for Preneet. For the Lok Sabha elections. He could not campaign for Preneet, since he was busy in Amritsar where he himself was facing a strong BJP candidate Arun Jaitely in the Lok Sabha poll. Amarinder has refused to go to Talwandi Sabo as he is busy in Patiala. Amarinder has got the support of a sizeable number of Congress legislators who are campaigning in the constituency under his command.

The Akalidal has put up Bhagwan Das a Hindu to garner Hindu votes and to present a secular face of the party. He is being supported by Surjit Singh Rakhra and some local Akali leaders and the BJP leaders.

Talwandi Sabo falls in the Lok Sabha seat of Harsimrat Kaur Badal who is now a minister in the Modi Government and is the daughter-in-law of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Talwandi Sabo has remained backward despite falling in the jurisdiction of Bathinda Lok Sabha seat. Parkash Singh Badal has held Sangat Darshan in this constituency and covered almost all the villages alongwith the Akali Dal nominee Mohinderjeet Singh Sidhu. Besides, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Harsimrat are also campaigning in this segment.

The Congress campaign in Talwandi Sabo is being headed by Partap Singh Bajwa, President of the PPCC and he has also got with him Mrs. Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and other senior Congress leaders of the Punjab Congress. Manpreet Singh Badal, President PPP is also campaigning for the Congress candidate Jassi. Jassi is related to head of Dera Sacha Sauda who has good following in this area and is likely to get the votes of the dera followers.

Both Patiala urban and Talwandi Sabo are set to witness keen contests.

KS Chawla is a senior journalist.
He can be contacted at 9988644244
[email protected]
[email protected]

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