- AAP is set to make the contest interesting this time and rebels will play prominent role
- IYC president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring is expected to contest from Gidderbaha for second time
- 89-year-old CM Parkash Singh Badal is again set to contest from Lambi to reach position for sixth time
Muktsar: Muktsar was created as a new district on 7 November 1995 by taking out Muktsar subdivision of Faridkot district. It has full right to flaunt its VIP status for being the home district of two chief ministers.
It was the efforts of Brar, who had remained in position from 31 August 1995 to 21 November 1996, that it got the status of the district. Adding grace to it, Parkash Singh Badal government accorded it the status of Sri Muktsar Sahib in 2010.
The change in name was made due to historical importance of the land as it gets great importance in Sikh history for battle of ‘Khidrane di Dhab’ and also for the 40 Sikhs who after fighting valiantly for Guru Gobind Singh achieved martyrdom and got named as ‘Chali Mukte’.
If we talk about the political significance of district in the coming 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls, this district comprises of four constituencies i.e. Muktsar, Gidderbaha, Malout and Lambi. Currently, Lambi is represented by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Gidderbaha is represented by Indian Youth Congress president Amarinder Raja Warring.
Muktsar assembly constituency lies with the family of former CM Harcharan Singh Brar. After the demise of Brar’s MLA son Kanwarjit Singh Sunny Brar, the former’s daughter-in-law, Karan Kaur Brar is representing the constituency since 2012. Malout, the fourth constituency in the district, is now with second time MLA Harpreet Singh, who was the youngest MLA in 2007.
Earlier there was fight primarily between two arch rival parties SAD and Congress, but this time Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also in the race. Interestingly, without waiting for Congress to open its cards, ruling Akali Dal has announced Kanwarjit Singh (Rozy Barkandi) from Muktsar and Hardeep Singh (Dimpy Dhillon) from Gidderbaha.
In 2012, Barkandi had contested unsuccessfully against Karan Kaur Brar. He has remained on the target of Congress ever since he came in poll contest. He was accused of patronising ‘sand mafia’ in the state. However, as he enjoys close proximity with SAD president, he was appointed Malwa Zone-I president of Youth Akali Dal and reposing faith in his ability to mobilise the cadre, Barkandi has been allotted ticket again for 2017.
On the other hand, AAP has fielded Jagdeep Singh Kaka Brar, a former Akali worker, but the Congress has not yet finalised the candidate. There are reports that sitting MLA Karan Kaur Brar has expressed willingness for Kotkapura this time whereas former MLA Harnirpal Singh Kukku is pushing hard for Congress ticket from Muktsar. Congress decision matters a lot as it will also reshape the mind of former SAD MLA Sukhdarshan Singh Marar, who is set to contest independent but with a mention that he will not do so if Kukku becomes Congress choice.
Lambi, which is represented by 89-year-old Parkash Singh Badal, is set to see the same candidate from Akali Dal with an aim to make him lead the state for sixth time in 2017. On the Congress side, there is strong competition between Muktsar district Congress committee president Gurmeet Singh Khuddian and PPCC general secretary Jagpal Singh Abulkhurana. The AAP is yet waiting for selecting the candidate in front of SAD’s chief expected ministerial candidate. It is pertinent to mention that CM Badal’s rebel cousins Mahesh Inder Singh Badal and former MP Gurdas Singh Badal, who had unsuccessfully contested against him in 2012, are not in the race this time.
Malout seat is set to see changes this time as SAD is reportedly willing to replace sitting MLA Harpreet Singh with either Balluana MLA Gurtej Singh Ghuriana or Bathinda (rural) Darshan Singh Kotfatta.Similar is the case with the Congress as the party is considering Jaito MLA Joginder Singh Panjgarain and former Malout MLA Nathu Ram for the ticket. However, sources informed that Panjgarain is again willing for his existing seat. The AAP has fielded a former principal Baldev Azad for the contest.
From Gidderabaha, SAD has fielded transporter Hardeep Singh Dhillon, who is also the district planning committee chairman. In opposition, the Congress is set to field the sitting MLA Amarinder Singh Raja Warring. The AAP, on the other hand, has fielded Jagdeep Singh Kaka Sandhu, who was an Akali in the past.
Amid all, Apna Punjab Party (AAP), Communists and some independents will also try their luck to make the match more interesting.
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