With Captain Amarinder Singh as party Amritsar candidate to take SAD-BJP candidate Arun Jaitley head-on, its disadvantage to his wife Preneet Kaur, who is facing tough election in Patiala.
Preneet is facing Congressman- turned- Akali activist Deepinder Dhillon, whom Sukhbir Badal is projecting his ‘personal choice’ and making all efforts to ensure his victory.
The entry of Aam Aadmi party’s candidate Dr. Dharmvir Gandhi, who is also denting the vote banks of both parties, has compounded her problems.
Captain Amarinder has admitted that Preneet is facing toughest election because of anti-incumbency and AAP factor. He had listed this as one of the reason in his plea for not contesting from Amritsar, citing that he wanted to help his wife Preneet Kaur, who is contesting from Patiala.
Though Preneet is a popular face in Patiala, but the absence of Captain Amarinder from the royal city will affect her adversely. Captain Amarinder last time had won the Patiala assembly segment with a margin of more than 40 lakhs votes.
“Incumbency, AAP and absence of Amarinder are three key factors which will make the election of Preneet tougher than ever. She is three- time MP but has failed to bring any major improvement in the parliamentary segment, thus facing tough time”, admits a Congress leader, while requesting anonymity.
As Captain is contesting from Amritsar, most of his loyalist sand strategy-makers, who earlier worked for Preneet, will now shift to Amritsar.
Leader said that Raninder Singh, son of Captain Amarinder, after losing elections from Samana, has failed to visit the constituency regularly. This has also affected the party adversely. Same is situation at Dera Bassi, where after Deepinder Dhillon shifted to the Akali Dal, the Congress has failed to groom any leader there.
The Patiala Lok Sabha seat has five Akali MLAs and the Congress has four.
However, supporters of Preneet said this time both Amarinder and Preneet will win. “First, Amarinder always campaigned for two or three days and he will easily manage it. Capt Amarinde has already given two dates for rallies in Patiala. Also, Preneet enjoys a good rapport in the entire constituency, so absence of Captain Amarinder is no issue,” says Satwant Singh Mohi, former MLA of the Congress.
However, Akalis see it as a major boost. “Absence of Capt Amarinder will definitely dent the Congress prospectus, which is already on a sticky wicket. Preneet has no answer to SAD-BJP’s question that what project she has brought in the last 15 years as an MP, said Ajitpal Singh Kohli, former Mayor of city. Capt Amarinder also admits that this is toughest election and now royal family will lose both Patiala and Amritsar seats’ , claimed the former mayor of the city.