Sidhu hits boundaries, Bhatia on the backfoot | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Sidhu hits boundaries, Bhatia on the backfoot

PTI | ByRaveen Thukral, Amritsar
May 06, 2004 02:40 AM IST

Two weeks ago when this king of cliches, Navjot Singh Sidhu, donned the cap of a politician and decided to take on Congress veteran R.L. Bhatia, his chances at the hustings were termed as bleak.

Two weeks ago when this king of clichés, Navjot Singh Sidhu, donned the cap of a politician and decided to take on Congress veteran R.L. Bhatia, his chances at the hustings were termed as bleak.
 
The contest was seen as heavily in favour of Bhatia, who has represented this constituency a record number of six times. But these 15 days have practically changed everything.

HT Image
HT Image

If one was to describe this contest in cricketing terms, it would be apt to say that while Sidhu has been hitting boundaries and consolidating his position since the day he came, Bhatia is still struggling to find his proper line and length to bowl him out.

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While his star appeal is certainly coming handy to woo voters, the 'googly' that has put Bhatia on the backfoot is the question "what has he done for this Guru ki nagri in his 30 years in Parliament?" This question, which Navjot raises without fail in every election meeting, has got people thinking and has put Bhatia and his campaign managers on the defensive.

"Bhatia sahib has done a lot. He has opened hospitals. The GNDU University and the Shatabdi train service are his contribution," says Amarjit Walia, a staunch Bhatia supporter.
However, he fumbles when asked to either name a major industrial and infrastructure project that the Congress MP has got for the constituency. "The Centre has been ignoring Punjab," is his answer.

Bhatia's supporters may be convinced, but the common man on the street has a lot to complain about.

"Look at the roads they have deep potholes… even the water and power situation is dismal," said Pappu Pandit, a resident of the city's busy Hall Bazaar. An added advantage for Sidhu is the massive support that he is getting from the youth. However, Bhatia's supporters dismiss this as the result of his popularity as a TV star.

Claims and counter claims apart, it is evident that Sidhu has made the contest a tough one with odds evenly placed. If one was to describe his position in his own one-liners, it would be appropriate to say, "Sidhu has to be on his toes like a midget at a urinal" in case he wants to turn the tables here.

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