Arun Jaitley, 61, BJP
A key poll strategist of BJP, the lawyer-turned-politician is a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat. Moderate face of party contesting first LS election. Clean image, vision on national and state issues, and SAD’s poll management skills can work for him. But MP Navjot Sidhu’s absence, anti-incumbency against state govt, and anger against highhanded of local leaders are negatives.
A former CM, the scion of Patiala royal family is the Congress’ most popular leader in Punjab. Last time he contested parliamentary polls was in 1980. His popularity, attacking style, grip on local issues and loyalists in the constituency may work for him. Among the negatives are his leisurely schedule of campaigning, anti-incumbency against the Centre and the perception that he represents an “outgoing” party.
He is an internationally acclaimed eye surgeon. Son of theologian Prof Sahib Singh, he is recipient of Padma Shri. The oldest candidate in the state, he has had no obvious political leanings before he joined the fledgling party. Has clean image and local connect. But it may hurt him that he is a new entrant, has limited appeal in rural areas and is facing two political heavyweights.