Nearly at an hour’s drive from Patiala, this non-descript village, part of Sanaur assembly segment, bears a festive look. It’s election time and the walls of the houses are splashed with Akali blue-yellow posters bearing list of achievements accomplished in the past three months.
Harinder Pal Singh Chandumajra, the 36-year-old engineer son of Akali MP from Anandpur Sahib, Prem Singh Chandimajra, is banking on much beyond being his father’s son to wrest the Sanour seat from the Congress.
He has only good news trickling in for him, he says. Congress stalwart Lal Singh who won the seat in 2012 is not the candidate this time having been replaced by Harinder’s namesake Harinder Singh Mann and other rival is Aam Aadmi Party’s Kuldeep Kaur, who is the daughter of former Akali stalwart Gurcharan singh Tohra. “The Tohra family is completely delegitimised and no one really knows the Congress candidate,” he says.
- Name: Harinder Pal Singh Chandumajra
- Age: 36
- Party: Shiromani Akali Dal
- Constituency: Sanour
- Poll quotient: Banking on the development works taken place in the area in last three months since he was made the halqa in-charge by the Akali Dal
- Educational qualifications: BTech, LLB
- By the way: Loves to spend every free minute with his two kids
But it is not going to be a cakewalk. And he knows it. Hence the focus on the hyper local development works. “In the end, everything else fails and what you have done for the people matters. Never make a promise you cannot keep. My idea of politics is to have a no nonsense approach to work. I think my strongest point is that I deliver what I say,” he adds.
Harinder Pal has been working for this seat for three months now. He was made the halqa in-charge, replacing late Akali stalwart Jasdev Singh Sandhu’s son Tejinderpal Singh, who was the candidate from here in 2012. The area is visibly underdeveloped and even basic amenities are lacking.
Jo keha, oh kitta; jo kahanga oh karanga (I did what I said; I will do what I will say)
“The area has been ignored. It was no one’s baby. For thirty years, the constituency has been crying for simple demands such as a BDPO’s office. I got it done. Earlier for even tiny works, people of the area had to go to Patiala. The check dam on the Ghaggar is another achievement I am proud of. That brings so much of land in this village under irrigation.”
The villagers too bear out his accomplishments of three months. “The road to the village was in a very bad shape. But it has now been repaired,” points out a village elder.
The fact that you are the son of an astute politician also makes a difference. Prem Singh Chandumajra has had close links with the area for several decades. “This was my father’s first constituency. We had as a family nurtured this area,” he says.
Chandumajra has represented Sanaur (earlier Dakala) seat in 1985 and later remained Patiala MP twice, defeating Sant Ram Singla in 1996 and Captain Amarinder Singh in 1998.
“I have proved my credentials working at the grassroots with the people in the cooperative movement,” he points out. He was elected as the MD of the cooperative bank, along with his men for other posts. “It is an election with proper voting and till you are really popular, it is more difficult to win those elections,” he laughs.
He plans to get a big industrial unit for Sanaur. “One large manufacturing unit can change the entire economic profile of an area. It leads to employment, growth of ancillary industries. My area is backward, and it will need constant hard work to uplift it,” he says.
“My war cry is: See what I have managed to get done in three months. Compare it with what has been left undone by others in 30 years. People are wise. They will make the right choice,” he says.
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