Though the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has never won from the Panchkula or Kalka assembly seat, from where the Panchkula seat was carved out in 2009, hectic lobbying is on for the ticket.
Former Chandigarh mayor Gian Chand Gupta, 66, and former district unit president Sham Lal Bansal, 58, are frontrunners for the ticket.
However, Gupta came third from the Panchkula assembly seat in 2009 and Bansal lost three times from the Kalka seat; but came third in 2005, was runnerup in 2000 and again a runner-up in 1996.
But, the results of 2014 Lok Sabha elections are a silver lining for the party; there was a margin of over 48,000 votes from the Panchkula seat which is part of Ambala Lok Sabha seat.
The party is looking at its best chance to wrest the Congress bastion this time in the upcoming election in the state.
GIAN CHAND GUPTA
An active member of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) since 1962, Gian Chand Gupta performed the responsibility as “Mukhya Shikshak and Karyavah” for several years.
He joined the politics in 1980 as an active member in Chandigarh. He became Chandigarh mayor in 1997-98 and then was a councillor in the Chandigarh municipal corporation for two terms — 19962001and 2001-2002.
Associated with Ram Janambhoomi movement of the BJP and being a president of the Chandigarh BJP unit, Gupta delivered victory in two consecutive Lok Sabha Elections —1996 and 1998 — and also municipal corporation elections in 1996. He shifted to Haryana politics in 2002.
Confirming to HT that he is in race for the ticket, Gupta said, “I have been serving the party since 1980 and in the past 10-12 years, I have been consistently raising the issues of Panchkula. I have made a place in people’s hearts. Whatever be the order of the party I will abide by that.”
SHAM LAL BANSAL
Being associated with the RSS since 1971, Sham Lal Bansal joined active politics in 1977. He claims to be one of the longest-serving BJP leader from Panchkula district. He had been earlier a president of the city unit, 1982-87, and district president, 1997-98, besides present head of Investment Protection Cell of the state unit.
Bansal has been associated with the Ayodhya movement.
Confirming to HT that he is in the race, Bansal said, “I am more connected with the people and could work for their betterment. Also, I have been associated with the party in the constituency for long.”