In this prestigious battle for Chandigarh, can Kher triumph Bansal again?
Chandigarh, Mar 20: The battle lines are drawn and it would be interesting to see, how the elections in Chandigarh would shape up. There have been 13 Lok Sabha elections conducted on this seat and the Congress has won seven and the BJP three.
Although the final list of candidates are yet to be announced, the battle is most likely to be a repeat of 2014, when Kirron Kher and Pawan Bansal fought it out. Kher broke Bansal's winning streak by securing the highest votes polled ever by a candidate in the city.
While Bansal is a favourite, others such as Navjot Kaur and Manish Tiwari of the Congress are in the fray. The name of Sanjay Tandon of the BJP is also doing the rounds. Bansal has an edge over the rest as he has won this seat in 1999, 2004 and 2009.
In 1991, Bansal for the first time bagged the seat. However in the 1996 and 1998 elections, it was the BJP's Satya Pal Jain who won the Chandigarh seat. The first election was held in 1967 and the Congress had bagged this seat in 1971, 1980 and 1984 as well.
As per statistics of the 2014 elections, the total number of voters in this constituency stood at 6,15,214. 80.8 per cent were Hindus, 13.1 per cent Sikhs, 4.9 per cent Muslims and others at 1.2 per cent.
While Kher sailed through in 2014 thanks to a Modi wave, the battle is not exactly a cake walk for her this time around. Residents are looking for candidates who will solve local issues. The voters feel that their candidate must cater to issues such as cleanliness, parking and other civic related issues.
Residents have also complained that from a well planned city, Chandigarh has now become a city with water and power problems.
Both the Congress and BJP are yet to announce their list of candidates for Chandigarh. In all probability it is expected to be a show-down between Bansal and Kher. Who will come out victorious in this battle? Chandigarh would poll on May 19 and the results would declared on May 23.