Will history repeat itself in Bhadaur constituency? - Hindustan Times

Will history repeat itself in Bhadaur constituency?

Feb 02, 2022 03:59 PM IST

Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi is pitted against Aam Aadmi Party candidate Labh Singh Ugoke, bringing back memories of the first electoral contest between the ruler and the ruled in 1952

History is repeating itself in Bhadaur as the assembly constituency sees an electoral battle between the ruler and the ruled.

Aam Aadmi Party candidate Labh Singh Ugoke campaigning at Khane Ke village of Bhadaur in Punjab’s Barnala district. (HT Photo)
Aam Aadmi Party candidate Labh Singh Ugoke campaigning at Khane Ke village of Bhadaur in Punjab’s Barnala district. (HT Photo)

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This time, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, 58, is pitted against Aam Aadmi Party’s Labh Singh Ugoke, 35, the son of a driver and a sweeper.

After PEPSU’s Muzara movement in 1952, Baba Arjun Singh, the Communist Party of India candidate, defeated Nirpal Singh, a sardar, to become the first MLA of Bhadaur in the government of Patiala and East Punjab States Union Legislative Assembly.

Ugoke, who belongs to a poor family, quotes the victory of Baba Arjun Singh during his door-to-door campaign in villages, claiming that the revolutionary people of Bhadaur will create history again by defeating a CM.

“It is the history of my constituency, which defeats kings. In 1951, Raja Nirpal Singh had spent 1 lakh on his election campaign. He used cars during the campaign but Baba Arjun Singh campaigned on carts. But by defeating a king, Baba ji became the first MLA of Bhadaur. This constituency likes down to earth people and relates to them easily,” said Ugoke while campaigning at Khane Ke village of the segment.

Ugoke was running a mobile repair shop after passing 10+2 in the village before joining the AAP in 2013. He campaigned for Pirmal Singh Dhaula in the 2017 elections. However, after winning the elections. Dhaula joined the Congress and is seeking votes for Channi at present.

“I sought votes for Pirmal Singh in the same streets but people are opposing Dhaula who betrayed them. He had to face protests at his native village on Monday. I am fighting for the future of our generations who are migrating abroad,” said Ugoke.

“The constituency is facing lack of playgrounds and health services. The AAP is working for humanity. Our party got the lead after Pirmal left the party. We are connected with roots,” he said.

The AAP candidate is contesting against the CM, he has not still received any phone call or message from party supremo Arvind Kejriwal or AAP’s Punjab CM face Bhagwant Mann.

“I have not received any direct call but our observers delivered a message to continue the fight. My mother is a sweeper in a school and I used to work with her. I know how to use a ‘jharu’. We will sweep the elections,” he added.

Bhadaur MLA Pirmal Singh said that some opponents are doing their ‘job’ but his supporters are still with him. “I will work for the Congress and do my job,” added the MLA.

The Shiromani Akali Dal has fielded advocate Satnam Singh Rahi from Bhadaur, which was represented by the party in past terms.

Channi on Monday said that he was on a mission to develop the Malwa region which was ignored by successive governments.

A veteran journalist, who covered the first election in Bhadaur, Jagir Singh Jagtar, said: “The Congress may win due to the CM’s face but if the wind remains the same, the AAP will register a victory.”

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    Avtar Singh is a staff correspondent who covers politics, agriculture, crime and rural areas in Sangrur, Barnala and Malerkotla districts of Punjab.

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