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Thursday, May 26, 2022

In Malerkotla, big fight over basic issues

🔴 The district has a total of 3.24 lakh voters and has two constituencies -- Malerkotla and Amargarh.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
January 19, 2022 1:10:14 am
Malerkotla, Malerkotla news, Razia Sultana, Punjab, Punjab latest news, Punjab assembly elections, Punjab polls 2022, SAD, Punjab Congress, indian expressThe district has a total of 3.24 lakh voters and has two constituencies -- Malerkotla and Amargarh. (Representational)

Carved out of Sangrur, Malerkotla district came into existance last year and became the state’s 23rd district. A Muslim-dominated town, Malerkotla district was announced by former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh on the occasion of Eid last year. The district has a total of 3.24 lakh voters and has two constituencies — Malerkotla and Amargarh.

A look at the two Assembly segments of Malerkotla district:

Malerkotla

A semi rural constituency, comprising of 54 villages, Malerkotla, once a princely state, occupies a special place in the Sikh history and the social milieu of present day Punjab.

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With around 60% Muslim voters, most parties have always chosen to field Muslim candidates here. Only in 1957, a non-Muslim candidate – Congress’ Chanda Singh – had won from Malerkotla.

Apart from the last nawab, Iftkar Ali Khan’s, tomb at Sirhindi Gate, the Eid Gah and the Hah Da Naara gurdwara are a few important landmarks of the constituency. This place is also known for its vegetable farming and the Malerkotla sabzi mandi supplies goods outside the state as well. Badge making is also another popular business in the area.

Sitting MLA-2017

Razia Sultana (Congress)

Previous MLAs

2012: Farzana Alam (SAD)

2007: Razia Sultana (Congress)

2002: Razia Sultana (Congress)

Candidates

While the Congress has once again fielded its popular choice Razia Sultana from the seat, AAP has shown its trust on Jameel-Ur-Rehman. Rehman, who had in 2009 unsuccessfully contested elections from Sangrur constituency on a BSP ticket, had joined AAP in 2017. SAD has given the ticket to Akali loyalist Nusrat Ekram Khan Bagga.

Issues

A bridge constructed at Jarg Chowk in Malerkotla at a cost of Rs 29.57 crore was inaugurated by the sittting MLA Razia Sultana last year. However, it developed faults in January this year and repair work is underway. This has been a major issue with the voters questioning the quality of the construction material used. Lack of a proper sewage disposal system is also a major cause of concern.

Amargarh

It is a rural constituency with 125 villages. Vadda Ghallughara constructed in Kup Rohira village of this constituency is an important landmark. It was constructed by the previous Badal government at a cost of Rs 16 crore and it was thrown open for public in 2016 but till date it lacks publicity. It was built in the memory of 35,000 Sikhs who were massacred by the army of Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1762. Earlier, this village was part of Malerkotla constituency but after formation of Malerkotla district, the village went to Amargarh constituency during delimitation.

Sitting MLA- 2017

Surjit Singh Dhiman (Congress)

Previous MLAs

2012: Iqbal Singh Jhunda (SAD)

Candidates

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded Jaswant Singh Gajjanmajra, who had contested on a Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) ticket in 2017. LIP and AAP were fighting the 2017 elections as alliance. SAD has fielded Iqbal Singh Jhunda from the seat. Jhunda was the MLA of Amargarh in 2012.

Issues

With no staff at the government hospital here, getting affordable healthcare facilities has always been an issue. There is also only one government school in the town.

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