The issue of nationalism or which party forms the union government do not hold much significance for residents of five villages that form the Chandigarh Lok Sabha constituency. For these villagers, their domestic issues hold more significance.
Be it the government’s decision of abolishing panchayat system and including these villages in Municipal Corporation or the deadlock on shifting of dumping ground, villagers accuse BJP of not doing enough for them and claim they would prefer a change of MP this time.
A few villagers also told Chandigarh Newsline that they were “traditionally affiliated” with Congress. These villages include Kaimbwala, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora, Maloya EWS colony and Dadumajra.
A 37-yr-old man, Surjeet Singh, who was waiting in the queue outside a polling station in Government Model Senior Secondary School, Kaimbwala to exercise his franchise, said, “At least 70 per cent of voters in our village are with Pawan Kumar Bansal, while 30 per cent are with BJP. Our village is full of traditional Congress voters. BJP did try to attract voters, but could not succeed. Even migrants who have settled in our village prefer Bansal”. Surjeet Singh’s wife and two sisters, who were also standing in the queue, too, nodded in his support.
Mahinder Singh, 32, another resident of Kaimbwala village, added, “National issues do not matter in villages. Our village is full of traditional Congress voters.”
Nine kilometres away from Kaimbwala village, there is Khuda Jassu village. Sudhir Lakhra, who hails from here, said, “Nobody can predict what the results will be. The demolishing of panchayat system will cost BJP in this election. Our village has very limited voters, approximately around 1,400. Our all former sarpanches (village heads) were affiliated with Congress party.”
Laxman Singh of Khuda Lahora village, says, “Congress party has an edge in our village. We do not know about the urban voters but rural voters are with Congress.”
Dadumajra villagers, too, expressed their anguish over incumbent MP’s failure to resolve their long pending issue of shifting the garbage dump out of the village.