With three women candidates who are contesting the election for the first time, and the sitting MLA, Kalka constituency is set to see a four-cornered contest between various party candidates in the Vidhan Sabha elections, scheduled for October 15. Kalka has been the domain of the Congress since 1991, when former Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Chander Mohan was elected as the MLA for the first time, and won the elections consecutively for next four years.
It was his infamous marriage with advocate Anuradha Bali, which led to his downfall, and the local candidate from INLD, Pardeep Chaudhry, emerged victorious with a huge margin of 41, 625 votes in 2009.
One of the senior leaders of INLD and a local candidate, Chaudhry has a strong foothold in the constituency, which he has represented four times for his party, in the Vidhan Sabha polls. However, this year, the race to claim the Kalka seat will be a tough one for Chaudhary, with three women leaders keeping a strong front.
The ‘Modi wave’ has visibly withdrawn, post the Lok Sabha elections, but BJP Latika Sharma, has build her consistent campaign around Modi. The party banners also carry her picture with Modi, where she is tying a Rakhi on his hand. A close aid of Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, Sharma’s strength lies among the traders community in Kalka. Congress’ Manveer Kaur Gill, on the other hand, is hailing herself as ‘the daughter of the land’ and asking for votes for their beti, who has grown up in the town. She is the niece of former Haryana Minister, Lacchman Singh, who was also three time MLA from Kalka.
“I am the only candidate, who is rooted in the town, and well-versed with all issues,” said Gill, as she went door-to-door for campaigning. However, the resentment of the people against Congress is difficult to rule out.
Building her campaign on the ‘deplorable condition of Kalka’ is Shakti Sharma, wife of former Congress leader, Venod Sharma, who is contesting the election from HJCP. “The previous governments have done nothing to develop this area, it is still backward, and neglected. The villagers are living in pathetic condition, and there is so much to be done,” said Shakti.
Meanwhile, both Shakti Singh, and Latika Sharma do not belong to Kalka, and are also being termed ‘outsiders’.