Former Punjab BJP president back in home town; gears up to contest polls
Former Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma, who handed over the charge to Union minister Vijay Sampla on Tuesday, is the likely party candidate from Ferozepur in the coming assembly polls.punjab Updated: Apr 16, 2016 10:12 IST
Former Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma, who handed over the charge to Union minister Vijay Sampla on Tuesday, is the likely party candidate from Ferozepur in the coming assembly polls.
For the past four years, Sharma, 46, has been actively working in the constituency and is behind development activities in the border town.
Denying that he is preparing for the polls, but at the same time accepting that he is devoting full time to the town, Sharma said, “I was born and brought up in Ferozepur and it is my duty to do something for the town.”
If Sharma is declared the party candidate, he would replace party’s two-time MLA Sukhpal Singh Nannu, who is also in the race. Nannu was elected as the party MLA in 2002 and 2007 but lost to Congress’s Parminder Singh Pinki in 2012. Nannu’s father, Girdhara Singh, was MLA in 1967, 1977 and 1997. After his death the BJP gave ticket to Nannu.
How far Nannu becomes a challenge to Sharma, only time will tell. “I have left the decision to the party high command but am an aspirant,” Nannu, who is said to be in the Sampla group, told HT.
A close aide of Sharma said, “Sharma is a fresh face and is locally based. Anti-incumbency factor in his case would have a lesser effect. Political scenarios change fast and there are still nine to 10 months for elections.”
Among his achievements for Ferozepur, Sharma cites sanctioning of PGI’s satellite centre, highways connecting the town to Amritsar and Malout, a rail link to Chandigarh and a government college.
Party leader Arun Jaitley, who was the Punjab affairs incharge then, had made Sharma general secretary of the state unit in 2007. Sharma took over as state president in January 2013.
However, the area falling in Ferozepur Cantonment with around 25,000 votes is a challenge for the BJP as in the last cantonment board polls, the party could win only one ward out of eight; the SAD had won six and the Congress one. “With the constituency turning Hindu dominated after delimitation, our party has a good chance of winning from here,” said a local BJP leader.