Punjab assembly polls: 2 women in the fray for Balluana reserved seat
The reserved seat of Balluana in Fazilka will see women in fray for Punjab assembly polls. Congress and BJP are betting on novice contestants Rajinder Rajpura and Vandana Sangwal, respectively
For the first time, the reserved seat of Balluana in the Fazilka district will see women in the electoral fray.
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are betting on novice contestants Rajinder Kaur Rajpura, 51, and Vandana Sangwal, 30, respectively, from the segment having a sizeable population speaking Hindi.
Kaur holds a postgraduate degree in Hindi while Sangwal is MA (sociology). Both candidates have no political backgrounds.
Congress nominee filed her election papers on Friday whereas Sangwal is scheduled to submit documents on January 31.
“It is an honour that the BJP leadership expressed faith in me. I belong to a Scheduled Caste and married in a Backward Caste family and I am confident to get support from all sections of the segment,” said Sangwal.
Political watchers opine that as a sizeable number of electors in the segment belong to Prajapat and Meghwal or the weaver community, the parties are eyeing to consolidate electoral support of various social groups.
Several villages of the constituency have a population of Bagri-speaking Bishnois, Sikhs and other communities.
As four main political parties have fielded greenhorn, resentment is brewing among a section of the veteran leaders of the Congress, the BJP and the Shiromani Akali (SAD) for overlooking them.
Congress turned down the claim of incumbent MLA Nathu Ram.
A party hopper, Ram was first elected from the Malout seat in the adjoining Muktsar in 2002 as a CPI candidate.
Later, Ram, known for leading activities of the peasantry unions, switched his loyalty to the Congress and won from Balluana in 2017.
This time the party replaced Ram with Rajinder Kaur, who quit her job of a government school teacher recently to take the electoral plunge. She had even tried to get a ticket in 2017.
Three-time MLA from Balluana Gurtej Singh Ghuriana had joined the BJP in December after quitting the SAD.
He was seen as the most likely candidate from his home turf but the BJP surprised all by fielding a newcomer.
SAD had first fielded Hardev Singh Megh. He was campaigning for the last several weeks, but his name was abruptly withdrawn last week.
Now, the official nominee of the SAD is Prithi Ram Megh, another greenhorn.
The 40-year-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Amandeep Singh Musafir is also contesting for the first time. Musafir, who studied up to Class 12, was earlier with the Congress and now he is banking on AAP’s popularity to win the seat.