With three-time MLA Raj Khurana locked in a straight contest with Hardyal Kamboj of the Congress in Rajpura, it is virtually a battle for Khurana. Though, Khurana (58) is an experienced politician, having won two elections on the Congress ticket and one on the BJP ticket, this time the poll battle in Rajpura is tough. With Congress leaders labelling Khurana as "corrupt", while referring to the May 2011 episode when Khurana was arrested by the CBI on charges of corruption and disproportionate assets, things are not that easy for the BJP leader to register his third consecutive win from Rajpura. However, on the other hand, Khurana supporters are maintaining with confidence that in view of the development work initiated by the BJP MLA in Rajpura, for Kamboj, who is a close confidant of Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs, it would be an uphill task to defeat Khurana. "The false propaganda of the Congress against Khurana would not help Kamboj as people are wise enough. Khurana has a clean track record. Unless and until proven guilty, no one can be labelled as corrupt", said majority of Khurana supporters. Undeterred with the Khurana's aggressive poll campaign and the fact that he had lost the last Assembly election to Khurana by 14,184 votes, Kamboj, while speaking to The Tribune claimed to be confident of victory, as according to him the anti-incumbency factor against Khurana was very strong. "Will you like to make a person MLA, who was arrested on charges of accepting a bribe"?, is his commonly expressed rhetoric. These claims apart, an interaction with the electorate in Rajpura reveals that the fight between Kamboj and Khurana will be neck to neck. Meanwhile, another constituency of Patiala witnessing an interesting poll battle is Shutrana (SC). With Vaninder Kaur Loomba of the SAD making all efforts to woo voters Shutrana, a large part of which is flood-prone, sitting Congress MLA Nirmal Singh too is leaving no stone unturned to assure the people that if he retains the seat, he would get the matter of floods due to the Ghaggar river resolved for once and all. Two-time MLA Nirmal Singh is mainly seeking votes while accusing the SAD-BJP government of not doing anything for Shutrana because it was being represented by the Congress MLA. Loomba, who is first timer, is taking a dig at the sitting MLA by stating, "During the past one decade, Nirmal Singh failed to do anything for the betterment of the people of the constituency." Amidst allegations and counter allegations, people of the constituency are not ready to open their cards, as to whom they would vote.
Hardyal Kamboj of the Congress in Rajpura
- Deepak Kamboj
- Jan 18th, 2012
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