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Firozpur – Badal versus defector in Akali bastion

Cogencis, Thursday, May 16

By Leroy Leo

NEW DELHI – Firozpur has been sending candidates from the Shiromani Akali Dal to the Lok Sabha since 1998. But it may not be such a safe seat this time, for one of the party's own has crossed over to the other camp.

Sher Singh Ghubaya, who won the past two elections, is a Congress candidate this time and takes on 

Akali Dal's Sukhbir Singh Badal, the former deputy chief minister of Punjab. 
Ghubaya's candidature strengthens Congress chances of winning the seat for the first time since the 1984 election as he hails from the Rai Sikh community.
The community is the region's largest electorate, which according to reports, usually votes for a common candidate.
Ghubaya has been campaigning hard in the villages and towns based on assembly constituencies in the Firozpur region, while Sukhbir Singh Badal, son of former chief minister Prakash Singh Badal, has been projecting himself as the next chief minister of Punjab.

The history between the two candidates goes back to 2009, when Ghubaya vacated his Jalalabad assembly seat to allow Badal to get elected and become Punjab's deputy chief minister in his father's government.
In return, Ghubaya was given a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections, which he eventually won.
Since then, the relationship between Ghubaya and his party has deteriorated.
Ghubaya's defection was in the making for the last two years, when his son Davinder Ghubaya joined the Congress to successfully contest the state elections from Fazilka .
Akali Dal were enraged when the elder Ghubaya, after a sleazy video of his started circulating, held a press conference with Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu alleging that his party chief Badal released the "fake video" to "politically murder him".
However, Ghubaya's candidature has reportedly caused dissent within the Congress, with several senior leaders from Punjab protesting.
Another candidate in the fray is Harjinder Singh Kaka Sran from the Aam Aadmi Party.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party came third in the seat in the 2014 elections, with a 10.3% vote share.
In 2014, the Akali Dal won 44.1% of the vote share, while Congress, which had fielded current state chief Sunil Kumar Jakhar, garnered 41.3%.
Firozpur votes for the Lok Sabha on Sunday.
Below are the details of the electoral outcome in the constituency in the 2014 General Elections:
Total electorate: 1,522,111
Total votes polled: 1,105,412
Voter turnout: 72.62%

CANDIDATE

PARTY

VOTES SECURED

VOTE SHARE (OVER TOTAL VOTES POLLED)

Sher Singh Ghubaya

SAD

487,932

44.13%

Sunil Jakhar

Congress

456,512

41.29%

Satnam Paul Kamboj

AAP

113,412

10.26%

End
Edited by Arshad Hussain

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