The rising rebellion in the Congress,all across the state,has not spared even the party stronghold,the Nakodar Assembly seat,that has been with the Congress since 1995. Due to strong dissent,four-time Congress MLA Amarjit Singh Samra may face a tough time these elections. He takes on first-time SAD(B) candidate Gurpratap Singh Wadala. Gurpratap is the son of the veteran Akali leader Kuldip Singh Wadala,who contested from here in 2007.
What could,however,affect the Congress chances is the presence of a former party leader and MLA from Noormahal – a constituency that lost out to delimitation – in the poll fray. Having lost his seat to delimitation,the former Noormahal MLA Gurbinder Singh Atwal had sought the Congress ticket from here on the ground that a large portion of his erstwhile constituency had become part of Nakodar. With Congress the high command refusing to cede to his demand,Atwal has filed his nomination as an Independent from here.
Nakodar,which has 1,70,000 voters,has over 25 per cent of dalit voters,who are considered as part of the Congresss vote bank. With Atwal filing his papers,there is a possibility that the Congress vote bank may get divided as the former Noormahal MLA has been quite active in the constituency ever since his seat was made a part of it.
On the other hand,first-time candidate Gurpratap Singh is taking the advantage of his fathers contribution to the area. His main poll plank is the development carried out by the Akali-BJP government in the state and bringing various infrastructure project to the rural belt of Nakodar. He has been telling voters that the Congress has done nothing here despite holding the seat for a long time. Gurpratap has also promised to bring Nakodar under the 100 per cent sewerage plan.
Gurprataps father,Wadala,had split from the SAD (B) in 1996 and had even formed his own party,the Democratic Akali Dal. The old Taksali leader,however,returned to SAD (B) fold during the previous assembly elections when he contested as the party candidate from Nakodar in 2007. Meanwhile,Samra has been trying to protect his vote bank from getting divided between him and Atwal.