P’kula set to see contest between 3 ‘banias’
Carved out in 2009, the Panchkula assembly segment is set to witness a contest between three members of the local ‘bania’ (trading) community with the Congress party deciding to give sitting MLA DK Bansal another chance.chandigarh Updated: Sep 25, 2014 14:15 IST
Carved out in 2009, the Panchkula assembly segment is set to witness a contest between three members of the local ‘bania’ (trading) community with the Congress party deciding to give sitting MLA DK Bansal another chance. The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have also announced their candidates, Kulbhushan Goyal and Gian Chand Gupta, respectively, also banias. The community has the highest proportion of votes in the constituency.
Aspirants for the Congress ticket included Panchkula mayor, Upinder Walia, councillors Lily Bawa and Bhavna Gupta and Ravinder Rawal, former president of the erstwhile municipal committee. A close confidante of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Ashok Mehta, was also among the contenders.
However, the local Congress unit was deeply divided over support to Bansal, as he belongs to Ambala.
Bansal had won the 2009 polls against the INLD candidate, cricketer and actor Yograj Singh, with a margin of over 12,000 votes, with Gian Chand Gupta of the BJP coming third. However, results of the municipal corporation elections in 2013 dented Bansal’s image as only two of the candidates he had supported won.
Four-time MLA Chander Mohan alias Chand Mohammed could be the game changer in the polls. The HJC leader, who is party chief Kuldeep Bishnoi’s elder brother, is yet to announce his seat but his supporters have begun campaigning. He won the elections from the Kalka assembly segment in 1993, 1996, 2000 and 2005 but did not contest in 2009 when the Panchkula segment was carved out from Kalka.