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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

On cards in Nawanshahr, a multi-cornered contest

The district was renamed as Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (SBS Nagar) in 2007 after the legendary freedom fighter on his 100th birth anniversary.

Jalandhar |
January 15, 2022 1:53:57 am
The memorial of Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Khattar Kalan draws a lot of crowd. Express photo

Carved out from Jalandhar in 1995, Nawanshahr district was once infamous for female foeticide. The district was renamed as Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (SBS Nagar) in 2007 after the legendary freedom fighter on his 100th birth anniversary. Bhagat Singh’s family used to live at village Khatkar Kalan in the district. A memorial to the Shaheed-E-Azam, as Bhagat Singh is known, has remained a major attraction not only for public, but also for the politicians cutting across party divide. Home to three Assembly segments — Nawanshahr, Banga (Reserved) and Balachaur — all part of Sri Anandpur Sahib Parliamentary constituency, the district is facing several issues including the menace of illegal sand mining, drugs and unemployment. The district where all the traditional parties, including Congress, SAD and BSP, have a good base is set for a mulch-cornered contest.

Here is a look at the three Assembly segments of Nawanshahr district ahead of the 2022 elections:

NAWANSHAHR
Total voters 1.76 lakh
Male 90,287
Female 85,974

A semi-urban constituency, the seat, for eight terms, has remained in the family of Angad Singh Saini, the incumbent MLA from the Congress. Saini community has a sizeable presence here. Rahon town of this constituency boats of the Punjab’s first government school, established way back in 1855, which has among its alumni Bollywood’s biggies including Yash Chopra & BR Chopra, Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh, Justice Ashru Ram, Justice GD Khosla, former chief secretary pf Andaman and & Nicobar islands Balbir Singh, Brigadier (retd,) Manjit Singh, and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre scientist Surinder Sharma

Sitting MLA
Angad Singh Saini (INC)
2012: Guriqbal Singh (INC)
2007: Jatinder Kariha (SAD)
2002: Parkash Singh (INC)
1997: Charanjit (Independent)

Candidates
The bahujan Samaj Party, which is contesting the election in alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal, has fielded its state general secretary Nachhtar Pal while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has given ticket to sitting councillor Lalit Mohan Pathak. A former Nawanshahr municipal council president, Pathak enjoys good support and his efforts towards handling the garbage issue of the Nawanshahr city had earned him praise.

Issues
Illegal mining in Rahon area, drugs, unemployment and sewer problem and are the key issues.

BANGA (RESERVED)
Total voters 1.64 lakh
Male 84,730
Female 79,583

Mostly rural constituency, Banga has a sizeable vote of Dalits. The BSP has a strong base here and the direct contest here is likely between the SAD-BSP alliance and the AAP. There is a simmering anger among the local business community over a 3-km long flyover that was inaugurated recently and which has given a huge relief to those traveling to Chandigarh. The local shopkeepers in Banga market, however, feel cheated as commuters now bypass the market.

Sitting MLA
Dr Sukhwinder Sukhi (SAD)
2012: Tarlochan Singh (INC)
2007: Mohal Lal (SAD)
2002: Tarlochan Singh (INC)
1997: Mohan Lal (SAD)

Candidates
Akali Dal has reposed faith in incumbent MLA Dr Sukhwinder Sukhi while AAP has given ticket to Kuljit Singh Sarhaal, the son of former MLA Balwant Singh Sarhaal. The local volunteers of AAP has been opposing the party decision. AAP had earlier managed to win five seats in municipal council elections here. From Congress, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s principal secretary Hussan Lal may contest from here.

Issues
Lack of development in villages, drugs and unemployment.

BALACHAUR
Total voters 1.54 lakh
Male 80,676
Female 73,985

A rural constituency in the sub-mountainous region (Kandi belt) of the state, Balachaur remained an Akali Dal stronghold till 2017. One of the claims to fame of this constituency is village Chandpur Rurki, home to Brigadier (late) Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, the hero of 1971 Longewala battle.

Sitting MLA
Darshan Lal Mangupur (INC)
2012: Chaudhary Nand Lal (SAD)
2007: Chaudhary Nand Lal (SAD)
2002: Chaudhary Nand Lal (SAD)
1997: Chaudhary Nand Lal (SAD)

Candidates
SAD has fielded former MLA Nand Lal’s daughter-in-law Sunita while AAP has nominated Santosh Kataria, the daughter-in-law of former MLA Ram Krishan Kataria.

Issues
Illegal sand mining, unemployment, lack of development.

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