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Lok Sabha elections 2019: INLD nominee faces uphill task in Ambala

Ram Pal Balmiki, 61, was elected councillor for the first time in 1994 in Yamunanagar municipal council. He served four terms as councillor and became the deputy mayor in 2013.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 30, 2019 14:18 IST
Sunil Rahar
Sunil Rahar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
lok sabha,INLD,Ambala
Ram Pal Balmiki is pitted against sitting BJP MP Rattan Lal Kataria and the Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja in the Ambala Lok Sabha constituency. (HT Photo)

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has fielded Ram Pal Balmiki, former deputy mayor of Yamunanagar, from the Ambala (reserved) Lok Sabha seat.

He is pitted against sitting BJP MP Rattan Lal Kataria and the Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja.

Balmiki, 61, was elected councillor for the first time in 1994 in Yamunanagar municipal council. He served four terms as councillor and became the deputy mayor in 2013.

He hails from Yamunanagar city and is a matriculate. He worked in a paper mill in Yamunanagar for nearly 30 years. He joined the Congress in 1986 and switched over to the Janata Party in 1990 under the leadership of former state chief minister Om Prakash Chautala.

Balmiki faces an uphill task as the INLD has never won the Ambala parliamentary seat. There are nine assembly segments in Ambala constituency —Ambala city, Ambala Cantonment, Mullana(SC), Naraingarh , Panchkula , Kalka, Sadhaura (SC), Jagadhri and Yamunanagar. All nine seats were won by the BJP in 2014 assembly elections.

In the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, the INLD’s Kusum Sherwal polled 1.29 lakh votes in Ambala and lost her security deposit. Sherwal has now switched over to the Jannayak Janata Party.

Talking to HT, Balmiki said he was ready to take on both Kataria and Selja. “They have done nothing for the constituency where roads are damaged. There is a lack of good government schools, colleges and hospitals. I am getting support from all sections of society.”

MOLESTATION charge

In his affidavit submitted to the returning officer while filing his nomination papers, Balmiki mentioned that he was booked under Sections 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC in 2017.

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 05:23 IST