With the Patiala royal, former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, fighting his own poll battle in Amritsar, his wife, Preneet Kaur, is striving to hold the fort in Patiala, a seat she has represented in the Lok Sabha for the past three terms.
Preneet is facing tough competition from her one-time aide Deepinder Singh Dhillon, who turned rebel in the 2012 assembly elections after being denied the Congress ticket and later joined the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Read: Top candidates from Patiala
It could have been a direct fight between the two, but the entry of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate and noted doctor Dr Dharamvira Gandhi has perturbed both the SAD and the Congress.
While the SAD is hoping that the AAP will eat into the Congress vote bank, the latter feels that Arvind Kejriwal’s party will do the damage to the SAD in rural areas.
Read: Past winners of Patiala
Despite being a royal city, Patiala does not have much to offer in terms of job opportunities or quality civic amenities. And this fact is going against the ruling parties at the Centre and in the state (Congress and SAD, respectively).
Both major parties are indulging in a blame game over lack of development in the city, while the AAP is out to exploit the situation to garner more support.
Preneet and Dhillon are both on the back foot because of disgruntled leaders in their respective parties. The SAD candidate is dependent on halqa incharges, while Preneet has direct link with grassroots-level workers.
Read: POLL FACTS
Dhillon is looking to turn the tide as Congress MLAs Amarinder (Patiala City) and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot (Nabha) are busy contesting the Lok Sabha elections, while Dera Bassi assembly seat has no Congress leader.
While Preneet is accusing the SAD-BJP government of diverting funds to Bathinda and scuttling her projects, Dhillon is claiming that she has failed to bring any major project to Patiala in the past 15 years, including 10 years of the Congress-led UPA. And the AAP is blaming both the SAD and the Congress for “failing on all fronts”.
The main parties are raking up issues such as Ghaggar floods, poor infrastructure, lack of development, unemployment and drug addiction, but all they are offering are promises, no solutions.
At a glance: The Patiala Seat is considered as a strong hold of Congress from Last 15 years. Though the city has not grown in terms of socio-economic profile, but it’s the education hub and also the agro-machine industry is prospering with individual efforts of local businessmen. This seat is having maximum voters in Punjab.
The key factors in this election:
The vote Share of AAP will decide the fate of Akali Dal and Congress in Patiala. If AAP dominates in the cities, the danger bells are rining for Congress, if it scores in rural areas, then the threat is for the Akali Dal.
Preneet Kaur is facing the anti-incumbency because of continuous 15 years term as MP. She has nothing substantial to talk about development; and to promise something new.
SAD chances will depended that how much fairly the Pathnic party does in the rural areas, where SAD has pumped a lot of funds and wretched five out of total nine assembly segments in Patiala LokSabha. Support of the Cabinet Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra will be key factor for Dhillon. For First time the Pathic party is posing as united, a thing missed in last three lections. Dera Sacha Sauda has strong base here and can tilt the scale in any direction.
Poor Civic amenities is huge issue in urban areas and can dent SAD –BJP alliance, as people are miffed that despite leving so many taxes, they are not getting benefit.
Total number of voters and break-up of male and female voters and the number of transgender voters if it is available
(the city areas dominated by the Hindu Communities, while Jath Sikhs and Kamboj dominate the rural belts, which has significant Dalit population. The Dera Sacha Sauda and Radhaswomi followers are present in significant number. If Dera Sacha sauda voted for a single party, then results will be in favour of that particular candidate.
Areas under the constituency (Patiala city, Patiala Rural, Nabha, Shutrana, Samana, Rajpura, Sanaur, Ghanaur and Dera Bassi (Mohali District)
(Patiala Urban, Patiala Rural, Nabha brings helfy leads for congress, while the Shutrana and Dera Bassi are strong holds of Akali Dal in 2009 elections.)