Amritsar: The battle for Amritsar east assembly seat remains the most keenly watched ever since former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu threw his hat in the ring as a Congress candidate. 53-year-old Mr Sidhu has claimed that he is on a mission to “save Punjab” from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal led by Badals who “looted” the state. His entry has overshadowed other contestants who are in the race for the seat, including Rajesh Kumar Honey, district president of BJP and a councillor of the party. Mr Honey first won the municipal corporation election in 2007 and then again in 2012.
There are 15 candidates, including five Independents, who will be contesting for the Amritsar east seat. AAP has placed Sarabjot Singh, while Tarsem Singh will contest for the BSP and Baldev Singh from CPI for the Amritsar East seat, which was carved out of Amritsar North in 2012.
The seat has 1,52,413 voters, including 81,240 men and 71,173 women.
Navjot Sidhu, who recently announced his ‘ghar wapsi’ into the Congress, however has enthralled the people with his one-liners, like “Bhaag, Badal Bhaag, kursi khali kar (run Badal, run. Leave the chair)”.
Mr Sidhu has been targeting the Badals in his poll rallies, which he holds across Amritsar parliamentary segment.
The Amritsar East seat was earlier held by his wife Navjot Kaur, who had joined Congress a few weeks ahead of him.
Navjot Kaur, who won the seat on a BJP ticket, had defeated Simarpreet Kaur, an Independent candidate, by a margin of over 7,000 votes in the last elections.
While Navjot Kaur is currently doing most of the campaigning in Amritsar East seat, Mr Sidhu has been focussing more time in various assembly segments of Amritsar, nine of which constitute the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, bypolls for which will be held simultaneously along with Assembly polls on February 4, news agency Press Trust of India reported.
Mr Sidhu had remained the BJP MP from Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency, winning the seat in 2004, 2007 (by-election) and 2009. He was also a Rajya Sabha MP for a brief period.
(with inputs from PTI)
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