The Congress’ Chaudhary family, which has had a stronghold in the area for the past few decades, faces a tough test in Doaba in these Lok Sabha elections. 24 candidates from Jalandhar are in the fray for Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat.
Former minister Santokh Chaudhary faces SAD firebrand leader and Adampur MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu.
Read: Top candidates from Jalandhar
Candidates vision for Jalandhar
But, the SAD’s youth face is enterprising, has shrewd political acumen and is close to SAD chief Sukhbir Badal.
Past winners from Jalandhar constituency
The seat that got reserved for scheduled castes in 2009 has remained tough for the SAD with the party managing to claim it only in 1996.
For the Chaudhary family, the worrying factor is their eroding base as both brothers -- Jagjit and Santokh -- lost the last two assembly elections from Kartarpur and Phillour, respectively.Read:POLL FACTS ABOUT THE CONSTITUENCY
"People from the region know my family for long. They know our track record of undertaking development. While holding different portfolios in the government, the members of my family have focused on Jalandhar. Tinu, chief parliamentary secretary for sports for the past two years, has nothing to write home about," feels Santokh.
Chaudhary replaces sitting MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee, who has been shifted to Hoshiarpur constituency.Read:Blame Game
The Chaudhary family tried its best to get the ticket for Santokh’s son and state youth Congress chief Vikram Chaudhary, but the party asked Santokh, seen as an honest and non-controversial face of the party, to enter the fray.
On the other hand, Tinu is using the political clout of Chaudharis against them. “Since we got Independence, the entire focus of the Congress in Doaba remained on the Chaudharis. But the family has always used the support of the scheduled castes for personal use. What did they do for the welfare of the public? I don’t need to remind people that Jagjit Chaudhary was once termed corrupt by Congressmen themselves,” says Tinu, who is banking on the Modi wave to garner support.
Controversies in Jalandhar constituency
The anti-incumbency against the ruling SAD-BJP government in Jalandhar City, where there is the issue of bad roads and misgovernance by the BJPruled civic body, is set to dent the Akalis’ vote share.
Jalandhar in news this poll season
Though the main fight is between the SAD- BJP and the Congress, the BSP’s vote bank in the constituency is expected to play a crucial role. The BSP is expected to perform better this year after fielding its prominent leader Sukhwinder Singh Kotli.
Kotli is the best bet for the BSP in this scheduled-castedominated area, who is expected to spoil the chances of the two main parties.
The AAP has fielded Jyoti Maan, a low-profile candidate and a novice in politics, who is seen as no threat to both the parties.