Once associated with radical Sikh organisation, the All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF), Prof Suba Singh Kamboj is contesting from the Amritsar (South) Assembly constituency on ticket of the Punjab Front, led by Dr Dharamvira Gandhi.
He is contesting election for the second time. At fag end of the militancy, the AISSF had fielded him from the Sultanpur Lodhi Assembly segment in 1991. However, a night before voting, the then Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan had annulled elections in Punjab as per recommendations of the then PV Narsimha Rao-led government.
After 25 years destiny has once again pushed him into the election fray. When asked how did he come into politics? He said “I was leading a calm and carefree post-retirement life. Leaders associated with the Punjab Front approached me to contest the elections.”
He said, “The simple and straightforward temperament of Dr Gandhi impressed me to dabble in politics.”Presently, he is carrying out door-to-door canvassing in the Assembly segment. During the course of campaigning he has understood various problems, including sewerage, traffic lights, deplorable roads and unemployment.His political rivals include AAP’s, Dr Inderjit Singh Nijjar, and new Congress entrant Inderbir Singh Bolaria. He said, “Both were millionaire, but I bank upon my missionary zeal to work honestly for the betterment of society.”Like majority of the electorate of his constituency, Dr Kamboj favours shifting of the proposed solid waste management plant (SWMP) from the Bhagtanwala dump site to out of the city. He reasoned that when the government was about to invest so much money on installing state-of-the-art mechanised plant to process the waste then why to leave questions behind.He said, “An able leader thinks of a century ahead. Bhagtanwala dump site has already seen mushrooming of localities around it. There is no logic to provide them unhygienic environment.
After all, governance is for people.”He added that relevant law must be enacted so that the new site for the SWMP must not be inhabited by people. He said it should serve coming generations of the holy city.He is also banking on his old connections with the Sikh Student Federation and religious organisations to garner votes.Another area of his support is his former students as he served as a teacher of Punjabi and divinity in Khalsa College for 36 years.
He said, “Many of my former students have come forward to lend support in campaign.”Belonging to backward class (BC), Kamboj feels that it provides him an edge over other candidates as the constituency has high number of SC and BC votes.