Who will be the claimant for Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat?

Parties still searching for winnable candidates
Come elections – Assembly or Lok Sabha – the political leaders become active. Such is the state of affairs in Ferozepur District. Going back to its history, there has not been any candidate contested for the Lok Sabha elections locally from Ferozepur.
This time, both the major political parties – Congress and Akali-BJP in Ferozepur, having the biggest geographical area constituency of district in Punjab, are expected to field the new candidates during the coming Lok Sabha elections 2014, for which the countdown has started.
The Akali Dal is capturing over this seat since 1998. Akali Dal’s candidate Zora Singh Mann had won this seat by defeating the Congress candidate during 1998, 1999 and 2004 and it is big challenge for the Congress to win this seat which is as of now like a castle of Akali Dal. As per the sources, this time again Congress could field its candidate keeping in view the caste equation.
Having a brief look over its background, the Congress dependent all the time dependent on Kamboj community, have a bitter experience during the 12th Lok Sabha elections. During 1998, the Akali party tried its candidate who changes the entire scenario of politics in the area. On Ferozepur seat, late Zora Singh Mann, known in term of respect for holymen like banyan tree, created a wave of Akali Dal, right from Dharamkot to Hindumal Kot and won by defeating Dr. Mohan Singh Phallianwala with a margin of about 45,000 votes
Unfortunately, the government run only for 13 months but Zora Singh Mann again won the seat in 1999 defeating the Congress candidate Hans Raj Jossan, a candidate of Kamboj community with a record margin of 1,55,000 votes. Two times defeated Congress, fielded its candidate Jagmit Singh Brar, known as the voice of Punjab, during 14th Lok Sabha elections but again a bad-luck for Congress, he too lost with a margin of 11,500 votes, which became a hat-trick for Akalis. While this seat projected a strong hold of Akalis in the Malwa, it gave a big spinning jolt to the Congress. The Akalis taking a wise step during 2009 played safe cards by fielding another candidate new candidate Sher Singh Ghubaya, a close associate of Badals, in view of ill-health of Zora Singh Mann and it again remained a dream for the Congress to capture this seat and Jagmit Singh Brar lost by only 22,000 votes
Since 1957, Akali Dal (Badal) candidates have won the Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat and Congress had been at the second place. But this time, the political scenario is totally changed. The Congress High Command, using the official machinery is getting the secret survey to field its candidate having the chances of winning. At the same time, number of Congress leaders is in queue and using their best offices and influences to get the ticket.
At the recently held meeting of Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) at Chandigarh, the sources said, there are more than 20 aspirants for contesting election from Ferozepur. Among those prominent at the top of the list are Jagmeet Singh Brar, senior Congress leader, Parminder Singh Pinki, MLA Ferozepur, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, MLA Guruharsaahi, Raj Baksh Kamboj, Rural President of Congress Committee from Jalalabad Block, Raja Waring, young leader and MLA from Gidderbaha and Anumeet Singh Heera Sodhi and many others.
As per the sources, this time, Rahul Gandhi is interested to field youth candidates for Lok Sabha elections. No doubt, the senior Congress leaders are in row for the coming elections despite being already holding the positions in the party as MLA or as senior leader, but Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi is working on the theory of ‘sweets in both hands’ by highlighting himself and his son Anumeet Singh Heera Sodhi, as candidate for the Lok Sabha seat who is also in the news now a days while attending the various social functions.
In case we have a look at the posts given by the Congress party, the Kamboj community leaders of Guruharsahai have been ignored and giving preferences to Anish Sidana of Jalalabad, Puran Singh and Mehtab Singh has becomea talk of the town. There is a possibility that Kamboj ommunity may field its o candidate for the coming Lok Sabha elections, for which Raj Baksh, Rural President, Congress of Jalalabad Block is aleady on its toes whereas on the other hand, Dr.Malkiat Thind, Vice President, Kamboj Maha Sabha Punjab, has also claimed his name for Lok Sabha seat from AAP party. His name is figuring in the list of first two-three candidates as he is expected to get a lion’s support being associated with Medical Practitioners Association, Journalist fraternity and Chemist Association.
The other aspirant for this seat are Vardev Singh son Zora Singh Mann from Guruharsahai and Shiv Lal Doda a liquor baron and SADhalqa incharge Abohar who fought the 2012 assembly polls as an Independent and a tough fought to Sunil Jakhar s also candidate for the party ticket. Meanwhile, Mohan Singh Pahallianwala of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) who won the seat in 1992 and1996 has also named Ram Kumar Prajapati as its candidate this time.
It may be mentioned here that during the last Lok Sabha elections, Sher Singh Ghbaya, who belongs to the predominant Rai Sikh community, was fielded keeping in view the huge vote bank of Rai Sikh community, and decision had gone in favour of Akali Dal and this time too, it don’t want to lose this opportunity. However, the rivals groups are blaming for his inaccessibility and nurturing of Jalalabad the constituency of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal more than other segments.
In case the Congress High Command decides to field Raj Baksh as its candidate from Kamboj community then the contest for this seat is going to be very tough and margin for the winning votes will be very nominal.
At the same time, Raj Baksh is not considered for Lok Sabha elections by the Congress, the chances of Dr.Malkiat Singh Thind as AAP candidate would be bright. In that event, it will be a dream for the Congress party to win this seat even if any candidate including Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, MLA is given the ticket because Dr.Malkiat Singh Thind is also enjoying the support of various other associations apart from Kamboj community.
More-over, Aam Aadmi Party is also gaining popularity on account of winning of Arvind Kejriwal from Delhi and becoming Chief Minister on the agenda of corruption and governance. But only the time will tell as to which way the wind blows.
Looking at the agendas, the Akali-BJP has already captured the development agenda and AAP has won on corruption free administration issue. Congress which has already lost its image because of scams and having splits, cracks and fissures at local level as they were hardly seen on one platform, are trying to downgrade each other.
In such circumstances, votes of Akali-BJP will be captured by AAP if the wave in the coming starts in its favour.
None of the party has declared its card so far for field of candidate from Ferozepur except Akalis for Sher Singh Ghubaya, MP for which the official announcement is still to be made, it looks that Congress has no agenda in its hands.
Presently, no name of any local candidate has come up from any party and in case new faces are fielded for Lok Sabha seat, except Akali-BJP for which Ghubaya is considered as the strong candidate if supported by Kamal Sharma, Punjab BJP President, who belongs to Ferozepur. At the same time, in case Kamal Sharma, whose name is also appearing for Amritsar seat, is fielded, the Congress workers will become active and the chances for Ferozepur seat too would be bleak for Akali-BJP.
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