This reserved Lok Sabha constituency is set to witness a close contest between the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), with the fledgling 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.
Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, 54
Four-time MLA, including thrice from Amloh, which falls in Fatehgarh Sahib district. First elected MLA in 1992. Was appointed deputy minister (youth welfare) by then chief minister Beant Singh. Again won Amloh seat in 2002. Then chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh appointed him parliamentary secretary (public works department, home and youth welfare). Contested 2012 assembly elections from Nabha assembly constituency and won. A matriculate, Dharamsot says he will work for upgrading educational and health facilities in the constituency, if elected. Says reviving the industry of Gobindgarh would be one of his main goals.
Kulwant Singh, 52
Realtor-turned-politician is contesting first Lok Sabha election. Started his career as a municipal councillor and remained president of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council. He was said to be a close aide of then chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and then local government minister Ch Jagjit Singh during the Congress regime (2002-07). He then switched loyalty to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) when the party came to power, coming close to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Says he wants to make the constituency an IT (information technology) hub as there is a shortage of skilled manpower. He also wants to improve infrastructure, besides planning to bring an industrial package.
Harinder Singh Khalsa, 67
A former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, he was deployed in Norway as a diplomat at the time of Operation Bluestar. Resigned from service in protest against the army action. In 1990, when VP Singh was the Prime Minister, he returned to India and settled in Ludhiana. Headed Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) for one year, during which he highlighted 'excesses' committed by the state machinery. He was SGPC secretary from 1991 to 1993.
In 1996, he was elected MP from Bathinda on the SAD ticket. Khalsa says would uproot corruption as he believes it is the root cause of every ill plaguing the system.?