More than anything else,it is the alleged false cases slapped against them that is driving voters in Gidderbaha away from the electoral battle. The ire is mostly centred at the Peoples Party of Punjab president,Manpreet Badal,who is seeking mandate from this seat.
Vijay Kumar,a resident of Piyori village has no plans to vote this time. Two years ago,a wrong police case was slapped against me. I rushed to the then SAD legislator Manpreet Badal,but he did not help me out, Vijay says.
His elder brother,Raj Kumar,explains. It was a fight between two groups,one of which was close to the sitting MLA. Our please were never heard. We are disillusioned with the electoral system. Why should we vote when the elected representatives do not care for us ion our times of need.
A similar view was presented by Jaspal Singh,who alleged that a false FIR under section 307 has been registered against him. In fact every fourth resident in Gidderbaha is facing a police case. If we do vote,it will be for someone who gets the (false) cases against us quashed, Jaspal Singh says.
A resident of the Gidderbaha village,Parveen Kumar,blames it all on the political affiliations. Manpreet used to say that all those who support the Congress should not come to him. We can never forget his words.
In another village,Bharu,as well,villagers claim they have been forced to face police cases over various reasons.
Mandeep Singh of the village,in fact,says that the false FIRs is the most important issue in Gidderbaha. Hundreds of FIRs have been registered against the villagers and this would play a key role in the elections. The candidates need to take up this issue and give us relief, says Mandeep. A resident of Smagh village,Sadhu Singh admires Manpreet for his independent views,but says that he needs to be transparent on the FIRs. They need to be quashed.
The Congress candidate,Amarinder Raja Warring,says,The maximum number of FIRs have been registered in Gidderbaha only and in fact villagers themselves narrate the stories.
However,Manpreet,brushes aside the issue. I am not the one who will get FIRs registered against my own people. This is being done to defame me. People love me. I am aware of their problems and will redress them one by one.
Another ill plaguing the constituency is the polluted ground water which has led to a rising number of cancer cases.
Cancer is slowly eating up the Gidderbaha and the residents have no relief from the polluted water. I myself have attended bhog ceremony of at least 8 residents in two villages in the past year, Warring says.