Punjab assembly polls: Slain gangster’s sister, caste factor may hold electoral key in Fazilka - Hindustan Times
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Punjab assembly polls: Slain gangster’s sister, caste factor may hold electoral key in Fazilka

ByVishal Joshi, Bathinda
Jan 28, 2022 02:53 AM IST

Punjab assembly polls: A party hopper, Rajdeep Kaur, sister of slain gangster-turned-politician Jaswinder Singh ‘Rocky’, and caste composition may hold electoral key in Fazilka constituency

A party hopper, Rajdeep Kaur, sister of slain gangster-turned-politician Jaswinder Singh ‘Rocky’, and the caste composition may hold the electoral key in the Fazilka assembly constituency.

Rajdeep Kaur, who joined the Punjab Lok Congress, is non-committed to support the candidate fielded by her party’s ally, BJP in the upcoming Punjab assembly polls. In state elections of 2012 and 2017, Rajdeep and her brother had contested unsuccessfully as Independents from their hometown Fazilka. (AFP File Photo/ Representational image)
Rajdeep Kaur, who joined the Punjab Lok Congress, is non-committed to support the candidate fielded by her party’s ally, BJP in the upcoming Punjab assembly polls. In state elections of 2012 and 2017, Rajdeep and her brother had contested unsuccessfully as Independents from their hometown Fazilka. (AFP File Photo/ Representational image)

Rajdeep, who joined the Punjab Lok Congress (PLC), is non-committed to support the candidate fielded by her party’s ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “I am yet to take a decision on my next political move,” she said.

Sources said she relies upon the clout of her family and wanted to contest the elections.

In the state elections of 2012 and 2017, Rocky and Rajdeep had contested unsuccessfully as Independents from their hometown Fazilka. However, on both occasions, they had impacted election results. They polled more than 30,000 votes in neck and neck contests with Congress and SAD-BJP candidates.

In 2012, Rocky got 30,000-odd votes and finished a close second by around 1,600 votes to BJP’s Surjit Kumar Jyani. Rocky, who was facing charges of several heinous crimes, was a popular face among the youth and rural electors.

After his murder in a gang rivalry at Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh in April 2016, his elder sister contested, but finished third in the 2017 polls. She got over 38,000 votes, which was short of just 1,141 votes from incumbent Congress MLA Davinder Singh Ghubaya.

Later, she joined SAD and just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rajdeep was inducted into the Congress by then chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. She joined his Punjab Lok Congress in December.

Located on the Pakistan border, Fazilka has nearly 40% electors from the Rai Sikh, the single largest community in the segment. The Scheduled Caste community is known for its high vote polling rate.

Ghubaya and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Narinder Pal Singh Sawna, who joined the party after quitting SAD, are Rai Sikhs.

Both leaders are eyeing electoral support from their community.

Kamboj, Bishnois and Sikhs are other key communities in the Hindi-speaking belt of Punjab.

Ghubaya, who was elected as the youngest MLA at 25 in 2017, is banking on his performance and clout of his father Sher Singh Ghubaya, former SAD MP from Ferozepur, whereas, the political novice, Sawna, has his party as the sole point to seek votes.

BJP’s three-time MLA Jyani has been again fielded from Fazilka. Known as an ardent follower of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Jyani was a key face supporting the Union government over the contentious farm laws.

He is eyeing to consolidate the dera and urban voters in the underdeveloped segment.

SAD has given the ticket to two-time MLA from Jalalabad Hans Raj Josan, who was earlier with the Congress.

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