Punjab will go to polls on April 30 in the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2014. All 13 constituencies will be voting on the same day, with 1.92 crore people eligible voters. In total, 253 candidates will contest from all over Punjab. In 2009, the Congress won eight seats from this state, followed by the Akali Dal winning four, and the BJP, only one. This year, will see interesting contests in Punjab with the BJP-SAD alliance and the “Modi wave” sweeping the country.
Gurdaspur – This constituency will see big names in the fray like actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna, who has won this seat thrice before. Even though the Congress has won this seat 10 times since 1951, the anti-incumbency might prove to be a disadvantage for sitting MP Partap Singh Bajwa who won this seat in 2009 against Khanna by a close margin. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded Sucha Singh Chottepur against these big leaders.
Amritsar – This holy city for the Sikhs which is home to the Golden temple will see one of the biggest fights in Punjab with the Congress fielding former chief minister of the state, Capt Amarinder Singh. He is pitted against the BJP’s senior leader and leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitely. The AAP has fielded 80-year-old eye surgeon Daljit Singh in this constituency. The BJP has held this seat since 2004 under former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu. This constituency is third highest in terms of number of candidates in the fray: 23.
Anandpur Sahib – This constituency, which was won by the Congress in 2009, will see former minister of Information & Broadcasting Ambika Soni pitted against the Shiromani Akali Dal's (SAD’s) Prem Singh Chandumajra and the AAP’s Himmat Singh Shergill.
Ludhiana – This seat was held by former minister of Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari of the Congress. This time he has been replaced by Ravneet Singh Bhittu, the grandson of former Punjab CM Beant Singh. He is pitted against the SAD’s Manpreet Singh Ayali and the AAP’s Harvinder Singh Phoolka. The party winning this seat has alternated between the SAD and the Congress; it will be interesting to see who wins this time.
Ferozpur – The SAD has won this seat four times consecutively, winning thrice against the Congress. Sitting MP Sher Singh Ghubaya is pitted against the Congress’ Sunil Jakhar and the AAP’s Satnam Paul Khamboj.
Bathinda – This constituency has the highest number of candidates in the fray: 29. This seat will see a fierce contest with the SAD fielding Harsimrat Kaur Badal (the daughter-in-law of Parkash Singh Badal) against the Congress’ Manpreet Singh Badal (the nephew of Parkash Singh Badal). The AAP has fielded Jasraj Singh Longia.
Patiala – Sitting MP Preneet Kaur, the wife of Capt Amarinder Singh, has won this seat thrice against the SAD. This year she is seeking re-election from this constituency. She is facing the SAD’s Deepinder Singh Dhillon and the AAP’s Dharam Vira Gandhi.