A place of reverence in Sikhism, bearing testimony to the genesis of ‘Khalsa Panth’ by Sri Guru Gobind Singh, Anandpur Sahib not only holds religious significance but has emerged as a centre of attraction and tourism in the past two decades.The historical city of Anandpur Sahib was home to Takth Sri Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five takths in Sikhism known for its splendid Hola Mohalla celebrations on the occasion of Baisakhi. Anandpur Sahib was also famous for Virasat-E-Khalsa, a key attraction among tourists world over.
From its historical foundation to the times, when it was declared as Lok Sabha constituency after delimitation in 2008, Anandpur Sahib voters were seen switching over to politicians forming the government at the centre.While in 2009, greenhorn candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu was elected as MP from Anandpur Sahib, in 2014 SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra won from this parliamentary seat. In 2009, UPA-II led congress came to power and in 2014, Modi wave swept the region and Chandumajra was elected as MP for the first time. However, this time, Anandpur Sahib Seat was being eyed by who’s who of congress which includes ex-Anandpur Sahib MP Ambika Soni, her son Anup Soni, ex-Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari, party’s national spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill and Yadvindra Singh Kang, the son of former Punjab Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang to name a few.
“During a recent meeting, it was discussed that the candidate for Anandpur Sahib parliamentary seat would be fielded in consultation with Ambika Soni. A close confidante of UPA Chief Sonia Gandhi, Ambika was a member of Central Working Committee (CWC) and any decision on candidate’s name would bear her stamp”, said a congress leader.On the other hand, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was likely to field sitting MP Prem Singh Chandumajra from this seat. Chandumajra had defeated congress candidate Ambika Soni in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. The Akali MP recently achieved a milestone in his kitty, when the much awaited Jaijon-Amritsar train, which connected Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s village in Nawanshahr to the main rail line was started.
Interestingly, the train became a tug of war between the SAD-BJP, as both Prem Singh Chandumajra and Hoshiarpur MP Vijay Sampla ended up claiming credit for the train. “The MP fulfilled the demand of the voters, which brought the constituency to centre stage. Apart from this, the SAD leader was known for vociferously taking up the issue of 1984 riots, after which two convictions took place”, party leaders said. Among the key entrants in this religiously significant seat was former Deputy Speaker of Vidhan Sabha and ex-congress leader Bir Devinder Singh, who was fielded by the newly founded SAD (Taksali) from Anandpur Sahib.
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