Lok Sabha elections 2019: Ludhiana’s ex-CM’s political adviser banks on Modi magic
Maheshinder, a former cabinet minister who has also served as adviser to the then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal from 2012 to 2017, was elected from Ludhiana West assembly segment in 1997 on the SAD ticket.Updated: May 07, 2019, 11:55 IST
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate from Ludhiana Maheshinder Singh Grewal, 69, is banking on the Modi factor in this Congress stronghold where he is pitted against party nominee and sitting MP Ravneet Singh Bittu.
The presence of Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) candidate Simarjeet Singh Bains in the fray makes it a triangular contest.
Maheshinder, a former cabinet minister who has also served as adviser to the then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal from 2012 to 2017, was elected from Ludhiana West assembly segment in 1997 on the SAD ticket.
Ludhiana has been a Congress stronghold for the past one decade. While party candidate Manish Tewari was elected from here in 2009, Bittu emerged victorious in the 2014 polls.
FROM LAWYER TO POLITICIAN
Born in 1950, Maheshinder studied from the Government College, Ludhiana, and later did his LLB from the Law College, Dehradun, in 1974. He became a lawyer and also served as the president of Ludhiana District Bar Association.
After getting elected to Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 1997, he was appointed a cabinet minister by the then CM Badal.
Maheshinder lost the assembly polls twice in a row from Payal constituency in 2007 and 2012.
He later served as adviser to the CM from 2012 to 2017.
The SAD leader is trying to woo voters in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “It was for the first time that the country had retaliated against Pakistan. The Modi government is committed to uplift marginalised sections of society,” he said during a rally.
‘CORRUPTION IS IN CONG’S DNA’ Confident of his victory, he says people are fed up of the Congress government.
While he describes Simarjeet Bains a blackmailer, he accuses Bittu of playing the emotional card to seek votes. “While Bittu’s grandfather (former chief minister Beant Singh) laid down his life for the people of Punjab, he (Bittu) has only exploited the sacrifice,” he alleges.
Citing their poll affidavits, Maheshinder also accuses both Bittu and Bains of amassing huge wealth during their political career. “Corruption is in the DNA of Congress and Bittu is no different. Bains has admitted owning a toll plaza and a sugar mill in his affidavit,” he says.
Maheshinder’s maternal grandfather, Mohinder Singh Sidhwan, was one of the founding fathers of the cooperative movement in Punjab. He was elected to the first House of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in 1926.