Muktsar: It couldn’t have gotten bigger than this. For the first time in Punjab’s political history, two stalwarts of two mainline political parties are headed for a face-off in February 4 assembly elections.
Five-time Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is facing perhaps the toughest political challenge of his seven-decade-long career as Punjab Congress President and former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh takes him on from the Lambi segment. Add to this the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the newest challenger to the Congress and the Akali Dal-BJP combine in Punjab, which has fielded Delhi lawmaker Jarnail Singh from this seat. “All eyes are on what happens in Lambi. It is the most interesting contest ever for this seat and even in Punjab.
No two bigger leaders have come face-to-face like this before. It is the mother of all battles,” Sarabjit Singh, a farmer from the constituency, told IANS. For Badal, 89, Lambi has been his traditional seat since 1997. In 2012, assembly elections, he was re-elected by a margin of 24,739 votes against his Congress opponent, which was seen as a relatively small margin for an incumbent Chief Minister.
Amarinder Singh, who turns 75 next month, has taken the risk of contesting from this seat even though he is also in the fray from his traditional home seat of Patiala-Urban and looks confident about taking on Badal. ”I will thrash him here. I have come here (to contest) as I want to teach him a lesson for ruining Punjab,” said an aggressive Amarinder, who has been indulging in no-holds-barred talk in recent days.
AAP candidate Jarnail Singh is focusing more on personal contact and small gatherings during his campaign. “I am getting a very good response from the people. They are fed up with the Akali Dal leadership because of their excesses, and the Congress. Our victory is definite,” a confident Jarnail said.
The high-profile contest has forced Badal to spend more time in Lambi this time to ensure that his hold on the seat remains intact. “I will win very comfortably. They can try their luck here but they will not achieve anything.
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