Nadaun, Nov 5
Two arch rivals, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu of the Congress party and Vijay Agnihotri of the BJP, are again in the field to contest the prestigious Nadaun seat of the district from where six candidates are trying their luck to be MLAs. Sukhu and Agnihotri contested the elections three times earlier, in which Sukhu won two times and Agnihotri once. The Congress candidate is Rajput by caste whereas the BJP candidate is a Brahmin.
The Aam Admi party has fielded a Chaudhary candidate i.e. Shanky Thukral, as this community wields a hold in the constituency. There are two independents and one candidate of the BSP in the field from this constituency.
In the 2017 elections, Sukhu defeated Agnihotri by 2,349 votes. The Nadaun constituency consists of 94,931 voters with women voters in majority. In the 2017 elections, about 79.45 per cent of women voters exercised their right of franchise outnumbering their men counterparts. There were 86,279 electors in the constituency last time out of which as many as 62,942 cast their votes.
While the Congress party candidate is spearheading campaign with slogans of coming to power due to the anti – people policies of the BJP government in the state. On the sidelines, supporters of Sukhu are also giving a twist to campaign by claiming that he will become the Chief Minister if Congress comes to power.
Sukhu who is also the Campaign in charge of the Congress party in the state claims that the party is going to win the election this time as the BJP has failed on all fronts. The BJP is responsible for growing unemployment; worsening lawlessness, rising prices, and its failure to fulfill the last election promises done in its manifesto.
On the other hand , the BJP candidate is a close friend of the Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur with both having old association from the time when they were in the ABVP ( Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad ) at HP University. Agnihotri is optimistic that with the blessings of the people of the constituency in general and party cadres in particular, he is going to win the election with ease this time and shall be then, accelerating the pace of development of the area. He said that whatever the BJP government had done for the people in the constituency was in forefront and they cannot ignore the same.
The presence of Shanky Thukral of the AAP has been giving sleepless nights to both the major candidates as the AAP candidate is Chaudhary by caste. Besides numbers, the Chaudhris have tradition of voting for its own caste candidate. Thukral claims that he going to do a miracle this time but locals feel that he may not win but is capable of cutting into the votes of both parties, mainly the Congress party and thereby harming the cause of SS Sukhu.
During a visit to the constituency, a group of reporters revealed that people were taking the elections seriously but are creepy silent about the viewpoint of the candidates. The issues of growing unemployment, recruitment of young people as Agni veers, rising trend of prices and non development are issues being debated, they feel. The employees of the state government are upset with the BJP for not implementing the Old pension scheme and is a major cause of worry for the BJP . The Congress party and the AAP have already clarified that they would implement this scheme if they are voted to power.
One of them Rajendra Chaudhry said , ” We are watching the situation with rapt attention . We will decide to vote, just one night before the actual voting takes place “. Rama Sharma of the Kangoo area said BJP had done a lot for the women folk and that was why they (them and their family members) were going to vote for Vijay Agnihotri . At Nadaun, which is the nerve center of the constituency people are being seen discussing the elections among themselves but kept mum when asked about the trend.