Fatehgarh Sahib: All you need to know about your constituency
The LS constituency came into existence after delimitation in 2008. The first election was held in 2009, when Congress candidate Sukhdev Singh Libra defeated SAD nominee Charanjit Singh Atwal. The constituency has nine assembly segments: Fatehgarh Sahib, Bassi Pathana and Amloh in Fatehgarh Sahib district; Khanna, Samrala, Sahnewal, Payal and Raikot in Ludhiana district; and Amargarh in Sangrur district. The SAD-BJP alliance holds four seats, while five are with the Congress.Three cornered contest | Fact file |Key factorspunjab Updated: Apr 27, 2014 16:57 IST
This reserved Lok Sabha constituency is set to witness a close contest between the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also in the fray.
The ruling SAD has fielded a first-timer, realtor-turned-politician Kulwant Singh, against Congress MLA from Nabha Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, a Baazigar community leader. The AAP nominee is former ambassador to Norway and former Bathinda MP Harinder Singh Khalsa.
In a dramatic turn of events, sitting MP Sukhdev Singh Libra, a Ramdassia Sikh, had recently rejoined the SAD after being denied the ticket by the Congress. Libra had won the Fatehgarh Sahib seat on the Congress ticket in the 2009 polls. Earlier, he had won on the SAD ticket in 2004.
The SAD, which had been harping on the development plank, has suddenly changed tack and is playing the caste card to garner almost 22% votes of Ramdassia community in this constituency. Though exact figures are not available, Ramdassia Sikhs account for almost 3 lakh votes, while the Baazigar community has around 50,000 votes.
Poll experts say that Dharamsot has an edge over Kulwant as he has grassroots-level networking in some assembly seats under the constituency, while the latter is regarded as an outsider. The SAD's decision to give the ticket to Kulwant has exposed the rift in the party's local unit.
Dharamsot is also grappling with factionalism as former Punjab Congress chief Shamsher Singh Dullo is not supporting his candidature. What's worse, Libra has not only rejoined the SAD but is also accusing the Congress of betraying the Ramdassia community by denying him the ticket.
Both Kulwant and Dharamsot are contesting the elections on development-related issues. They have been holding door-to-door canvassing as well as 'nukkar' rallies.
People's Party of Punjab's (PPP) support to Dharamsot has given a boost to the Congress. But the good response received by the AAP in urban areas, especially during party convener Arvind Kejriwal's road show, can prove to be a crucial factor.
Total voters 13.96 lakh
Male 7.4 lakh
Female 6.56 lakh
2009 voting pattern How top 2 fared:
Sukhdev Singh Libra Congress 3.93 lakh
Charanjit Singh Atwal SAD 3.59 lakh