The Congress on Sunday announced its candidate for the Patiala Municipal Corporation by-polls by re-nominating Sarabjit Singh from ward no 8 and Vijay Kumar from ward no 46-both unsuccessfully contested elections in 2012 for the party.
Ward no 8 falls in the constituency of Congress MLA Brahm Mohindra, while ward no 46 falls in constituency of MLA Preneet Kaur. And as per arrangement, the party has given tickets as per the wishes of the concerned area MLAs.
The elections are curicial for the Congress, which is hoping for a revival in state, while for Akali Dal it's a chance to regain its lost supremacy.
Congress in last by-poll held in August had taken a lead of above one thousand votes from the ward no 46. In 2012, Sarabjit had lost to Akali candidate with a bleak margin of 44 votes, which he alleged was because of booth capturing.
Ward no 8 was fell vacant after the death of Shiromani Akali Dal councillor Rashpal Singh, while ward no 46 fell vacant after the demise of Prabhjit Singh Dicxy, who died in a road accident in June 2014.
As far as ground reality is concerned, both these areas have not witnessed much development. Owing to its poor performance the SAD-BJP coalition is facing anti-incumbency. The alliance has been ruling in state and the civic body for the past eight years.
The civic amenities of Mehar Singh Colony, Purani Tripuri, New Green park, Anaj Mandi and Indira Colony, are poor. And this may cost the Akali Dal dearly.
"Last time we lost the elections because of booth-capturing. This time we will remain on our toes to stop that from happening. Congress has a strong chance and we will fight the election united", said Congress MLA Brahm Mohindra.
It is pertinent to mention that both these wards are with the Akali Dal since 2008. In 2008 Congress had boycotted the polls, while in 2012, Congress lost the polls and alleged booth-capturing by Akali Dal.
The SAD is finalising its candidates and district president Indermohan Singh Bajaj has said party would soon announce the candidates. The Aam Aadmi Party has decided not to contest the polls.