While it may be a four-cornered contest for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat, Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu and SAD candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali feel the fight is between the two of them.
Both claim that Independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains and AAP candidate H S Phoolka may garner some support but cannot win the seat.
Talking to Newsline, SAD candidate Ayali claimed that “he will get around 4 lakh votes and his closest rival will be Congress’s Bittu”.
Ayali said, “Even if I give complete vote share to Bains and Phoolka, they are not in a position to win the seat. I am expecting around 4 lakh votes, minimum 3.80 lakh, and also I feel that Bittu is going to be the closest rival.”
On Bains and Phoolka, he said, “The point is that all my rival votes are going to get divided between the three, mainly Phoolka and Bains. No doubt we cannot underestimate anyone but this is what I am expecting. AAP is going to be a divisive force but for the Congress, not for us.”
Bittu too claimed that “it is all between him and Ayali”. “I would like to wait for results to say anything but the fact is Akalis will be our closest rival. He will get second highest votes after us.”
Bittu said that “AAP and Bains are going to harm Akalis as people are fed up with their anti-people policies and some may vote for AAP or Bains”.
However, Bains said that the results were going to give a nightmare to both the Akalis and Congress. “These people have eaten Punjab like termites for years and this time people are going to eat them. It’s all a wait-and-watch game, and I know that results are going to stun them both,” he said.
Phoolka who was out of the city was not available for comment. However, Avtar Singh Dhindsa, his close friend and an AAP member, said,” We have already made it clear that we are not here to win or lose. We wanted to move the people and that we have already done. People will give their mandate which will be acceptable to us, and Phoolka will be working for Ludhiana even if he wins or loses.”