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Punjab's Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat: AAP and Independents to disturb poll equations over local factors
This time, the political parties are trying to play the community based card in Ferozepur Lok Sabha Constituency, situated on Indo-Pak border, still considered as backward and having uneducated class. But it is natural to give birth to revolutionary thoughts among the voters being fed up from the existing political and administrative system.

The people are now aware about their future but the moves like the chess board by the community cards played by the ‘political pundits’ too look to be futile. Non-fulfilling of election promises, non providing of basic facilities of health, education and local problems are some of the major issues for which the candidates visiting the voters, are some of the major issues for which the leaders seeking vote have no answer to their queries.

While the Akali party is claiming the improvement in their vote bank in the rural areas, the Modi card being played by BJP in urban area is not seen.

The Congress party leaders and workers have united, keeping aside all their differences and this is the reason that for the first time, they were seen at single dais, are taking the support of Hindu card to break the nexus of Akalis, to ensure the victory of Sunil Jakhar.

Aam Aadmi Party has also fielded Kamboj community candidate Satnam Pal Kamboj. He has not been able to establish himself but asking for vote in the name of Kejriwal with agenda of eradication of corruption. But, AAP is definitely eating the vote bank of both the Congress and Akali .

There are total 15,17,969 voters in Ferozepur Lok Sabha constituency which include 3 segments of Ferozepur, 4 of Fazilka and 2 of Sri Muktsar Sahib. The inclination of voters in five assembly segments represented by five Akali-BJP MLAs and 4 Congress MLAs in Ferozepur Lok Sabha constituency, is directly towards both the parties, the main contest is between Sher Singh Ghubaya, SAD-BJP alliance candidate and Sunil Kumar Jakhar, the Congress candidate. 

But the presence of AAP is spoiling the game of both major political parties – Congress and BJP. While Congress and Akali-BJP leaders and workers are campaigning in their respective areas, AAP candidate Satnam Pal Kamboj is campaigning on his own except by single man Jarnail Singh of Arifke. 

The Rai Sikh community's vote of 2.5 lakh in this seat is divided because of the influence of Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, MLA Guruharsahai and to some extent by AAP candidate. Ravinder Singh Babbal Sandhu, a former Congress MLA who recently joined Akali Dal, Kamal Sharma, Punjab BJP President being local from Ferozepur and Sukhpal Singh Nannu, former CPS are campaigning for Ghubaya but this time their credibility is certainly doubtful because of internal rift by both SAD and BJP.

This time, the High Commands of both Congress and Akali-BJP have directed their leaders and workers have been given the responsibility of campaigning in their areas but Modi factor is not at all seen in the villages. It looks to be media based wave.  In fact, BJP is in power in four-five states only and having nominal seats in other states.  Modi factor is seen only in the RSS workers who have passion for Hindutva.  The people are more concerned with the local issues and obliging local leaders than Modi supporters. 

 

The candidate fielded by Bahujan Samaj Party –Ram Kumar Prajapati – is also trying to encash Kumhar community vote in his favour.  But BSP having a weak candidate does not stand in list of tough fight list.  Another candidate Dhyan Singh Mand of SAD(Amritsar) is also asking for votes for the security of rights and truth. Besides, the other candidates in fray in 10-Ferozepur constituency are Baljinder Singh of Bhartiya GauTaj Dal, and independent candidates – Swarn Singh, Sampuran Singh, Gurjat Singh, Chanan Singh Vattu, Paramjit Singh Desal, Punjab Singh Katwal, Manoj Kumar Monga, Rajinder Bhateja, Raj Gill and others and total 15 candidates are trying their luck in this election. 

Despite the presence of two major police forces – Congress and SAD-BJP – the small parties like AAP, BSP, SAD(A), BGT Dal and Independent candidates are definitely going to disturb the equation polls.

Frankly speaking, Narendra Modi, had no Magic Wand to uplift the sinking fortunes of the Akali Dal-BJP candidates because of its internal rift.

When I visited different parts of Ferozepur and around in different routes – Ferozepur-Fazilka, Muktsar, Faridkot, Moga, Zira and Mallanwala roads, the picture was clear that Modi factor has no affect at all. Punjab state is totally different from UP, Bihar and Gujarat, from the rest of the country due to its political dynamics. Here, the local political leaders and workers' influence will work and of course, the local issues for which the people have grievances.

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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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