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Sidhu's poll slogan: 'MLA de naal MP free'

January 21, 2012 16:05 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife, Navjot Kaur, is pitted against another greenhorn and independent candidate, Simperpreet Kaur Bhatia, in Amrtisar East, with both candidates hoping to cash in on the popularity of their husbands.

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Navjot Kaur, who until a few days back was employed with the Punjab government as a senior health professional, quit her job after the BJP fielded her.

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, a three time MP from Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency, joins her in the election campaigns and uses his "Sidhuisms" to woo voters.

"MLA de naal MP free (elect her as MLA and MP is already there at your service)," he says trying to woo the voters.

Navjot Kaur is contesting against Simperpreet, a Congress rebel, who jumped into the fray as an independent after the party first gave her ticket but later replaced her with another candidate Sunil Dutti.

Simerpreet Kaur was earlier given ticket by the Congress high command after the death of her husband and local leader Harpal Bhatia in a road accident.

Simerpreet Kaur says she is hopeful of her victory since her late husband had been working in the Amritsar East constituency for the last four years and was popular with the masses.

This constituency has maximum slums in Amritsar. Harpal Bhatia had a good equation with the people from the slums since he used to frequently visit them and take up their problems with the authorities.

Simerpreet may act as a spoilsport for the Congress and give some advantage to the BJP candidate.

Dr Navjot Kaur, on her part, is leaving no stone unturned to encash votes on the image of her husband.

Like Simerpreet, she too leaves her house early in the morning and remains in the constituency till late in the evening with party workers.

"I will make this constituency a model for others. Funds will be no problem and Sidhuji (Navjot) will be there to help us," says Dr Navjot.

Simerpreet Kaur says her aim is fulfill the dream of her late husband who always wanted to uplift the masses and develop of slums.

Congress candidate Sunil Dutti, who had served as city mayor earlier, claims that if he wins, he would spend his maximum time in the area serving inhabitants and development of the constituency.

In all, there are eight candidates in the fray from the assembly segment including Tarsem Singh of BSP and Baldev of CPI.

Before delimitation, Amritsar (E) was a reserved constituency during the assembly election in 2007 when it was being called as Amritsar Verka. After delimitation it was declared 'Amritsar East' and became a general constituency.

In 2007, from Verka (Reserved) assembly constituency SAD Candidate Dalbir Singh had won by 18,097 votes while defeating his rival candidate and sitting Congress MLA Raj Kumar.

Total number of voters in this constituency are 1,35,312 including 63,384 women.
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