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Rivals grab growth plank

THE PEOPLE?S response has forced opposition candidates to frantically search for issues to target Sonia Gandhi in the coming by-election to this prestigious Lok Sabha seat.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 00:58 IST

THE PEOPLE’S response has forced opposition candidates to frantically search for issues to target Sonia Gandhi in the coming by-election to this prestigious Lok Sabha seat.

Assertions made by the candidates so far indicate that development of the constituency is bound to emerge as a major poll plank.

SP candidate Raj Kumar Chaudhary, who will file his nomination papers on Tuesday, said he would focus his campaign on development of the constituency in the backdrop of Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s announcement of development package there. “I am touring the constituency for tomorrow’s nomination,” said Chaudhary.

At Bachhrawan where the SP candidate is based, people could be seen waiting for Sonia Gandhi. A local shopkeeper said Sonia would get the largest ever number of votes from the constituency this time. SP candidate’s father Lal Bahadur Chaudhary, however, exuded confidence and said his son would score a victory.

An independent candidate Mohibur Rehman alias Haji Munne, who filed his nomination papers today, said he would launch a campaign to demand reservation for the backward classes among Muslims. He targeted the Congress for what he termed as causing hindrances in the way of reservation for Muslims.

Apna Dal candidate Prabha Singh, too, declared that development would be  main poll plank.

Significantly, Sonia had won the seat with a heavy margin of nearly 2.5 lakh votes in the 2004 polls. The Congress, however, wanted to make the victory margin a record, said a leader.

Significantly, the Congress does not have a sitting MLA on any of the 5 assembly seats in the constituency.