With the political parties in the city having finalised their candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections scheduled on May 13,the battle for Chandigarh seems to have begun in earnest.
This year too,the city will witness three contestants Pawan Bansal (Congress) Satya Pal Jain (BJP) and Harmohan Dhawan (BSP) pitted against each other for the fifth time. Of the four times they have contested against each other,both Jain and Bansal have won twice,while Dhawan won in 1989,when neither Bansal nor Jain had contested.
Bansal was elected thrice in 1991,1999 and 2004 during which the vote share of the Congress also increased. While the Congress received 35 per cent votes in 1991,this increased to 47 per cent and 52 per cent in 1999 and 2004,respectively,which increased by nearly 40,000 votes.
Jain,meanwhile,won the elections in 1996 and 1998. While the BJP had received 39 per cent votes in 1996,its share increased to 42 per cent in 1998. The victory margin,however,was reduced. The vote share of the Congress,which lost both the times,increased by nearly 9 per cent.
Jain,when asked about the elections,said during the Congress rule,inflation has been all time high while security has been another area of concern. He said the promises made during the last elections have also not been fulfilled.
The third contestant from this trio,Dhawan,meanwhile,has a history of contesting from a different party in every election. Except for 1989,he has always stood third in the vote tally. His vote share has,also steadily decreased over the years from 42 per cent in 1989 to 6 per cent in 2004.
Dhawan says: This time around,it will be different as I have the backing from a strong party. BSP workers are all charged up as they have a capable leader to guide them. We are confident of victory.