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
“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.