Ferozepur: After the Indian National Congress fielded Ravneet Singh Bittu as its candidate from Jalalabad, the contest for Jalalabad has become a very high profile and formidable contest in Punjab, one which would also write down the future of the three political parties too from where Sukhbir Singh Badal is contesting as SAD candidate, Bhagwant Singh Mann as AAP candidate and Ravneet Singh Bittu on Congress ticket.
The battle of Jalalabad is going to be very interesting as well as toughest in the state, which may prove as the battle of Kurukshetra for these main three parties contesting the elections SAD, Congress and AAP. Before the elections, the whole state did not witness such a contest where the parties had fielded their formidable candidates on a single seat. It is to be mentioned that the SAD candidate Sukhbir Singh Badal had been enjoying the support of all the sects of the societies due to the development projects and looked to be in a comfortable zone few days ago but now the scenario has changed.
If we go through the history of Jalalabad, it remained a stronghold of Congress and CPI in the past before Sher Singh Ghubaya defeated Congress’ candidate and minister of forests Hans Raj Josan in a straight contest. After that Sher Singh vacated the seat for Sukhbir Singh Badal who had contested two times from Jalalabad and won the seat with a huge margin and both times there was a big role of Rai Sikh voters who stood with Sukhbir due to Sher Singh Ghubaya and made the wins remarkable. But in this election the equation is looking to have changed a lot, as Sher Singh Ghubaya’s family has joined the Congress.
But it is the first time when there would be a triangular fight between high profile stalwarts of the three main parties contesting in 2017 elections and struggling very hard to rule in Punjab. If we go through the database of the Jalalabad constituency both the Rai Sikh and Kamboj communities have played a major part in the electorate, as Rai Sikh community constitutes 34 per cent and Kamboj community about 15 per cent of the electorate.
Apart from these two communities, the SC category voters are about 18 per cent and Sikhs are also about 18 per cent while remaining belong to Aroras, Khatris and other castes. This constituency had been considered to be Rai Sikh or Kamboj-dominated constituency till 2010 and both the parties fielded candidates from both the communities. It is the first time when none of the three parties gave ticket to the dominant communities. Before the nomination of Ravneet Singh Bittu and Ghubaya family joining the Congress, the contest was expected to be between SAD and AAP, because due to the infighting among the local Congress leaders and majority of Rai Sikhs were supposed to support SAD candidate Sukhbir. But now the scenario has changed a lot. Congress succeeded to control the infighting of the local leadership and managed to bring the majority of Rai Sikhs into its fold along with the Kamboj community, as it is visible from the fact that both the leaders of Rai Sikhs Varinder Singh Ghubaya and Puran Chand Mujaidiya have been supporting the Congress candidate.
Apart from this, Hans Raj Josan and Jagdeep Kamboj Goldy, Anish Sidana, Bhagwan Dass Kalra all the factions of Congress have also given their support to the Congress nominee, which could change the scenario of the contest and there may arise some new and unexpected equations in the area.
No doubt that Bhagwant Singh Mann succeeded to lure the voters to his side, but with the emergence of Ravneet in the contest, it could affect him a lot.
If we believe the people’s voices, there may be a very tough and formidable contest and whosoever wins from Jalalabad, it would be with a very thin margin. People say that it would be Jalalabad, that would write the future of the state on February 4.
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