There is a fair of party-hoppers on this seat of Punjab, Pawan, Sushil or Charanjit, who will win?

The Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat has historically been a Congress stronghold. The party has won the seat 15 times in 20 elections since 1952, including three by-elections. However, the scenario changed dramatically in the 2023 by-elections when Congress’ Karamjit Kaur was defeated by Congress MLA-turned-Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Sushil Rinku. Kaur is also in the BJP now and switched sides after the Congress did not give her a ticket from Jalandhar. Kaur was fielded in the 2023 by-election as her husband Chaudhary Santokh Singh, the sitting Congress MP from Jalandhar, died soon after participating in Rahul Gandhi’s first Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Why is Congress called an impenetrable fort?

Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat, considered a stronghold of the Congress, was once represented by the 12th Prime Minister of the country, Inder Kumar Gujral. ​​To save its impenetrable fort, the Congress has fielded Dalit leader and former Chief Minister of the state Charanjit Singh Channi. Channi was an MLA from Chamkaur Sahib seat of Rupnagar district. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded two-time MLA and former Akali Dal leader Pawan Kumar Tinu. Tinu joined the ruling party only in April. At the same time, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has bet on sitting MP Sushil Rinku. Rinku was earlier declared as AAP’s candidate but he left the party and joined BJP and filed nomination from Jalandhar seat. Rinku left Congress last year and joined AAP. Sukhbir Singh Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has fielded former Punjab unit chief of Congress and former MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee.

16.54 lakh voters will decide

Jalandhar constituency has a total of 16.54 lakh voters, of which about 37 percent of the population is from Scheduled Castes. This Lok Sabha seat includes nine assembly constituencies, including Phillaur (SC), Nakodar, Shahkot, Kartarpur (SC), Jalandhar West (SC), Jalandhar Central, Jalandhar North, Jalandhar Cantt and Adampur (SC). During the campaign, Congress candidate Channi is telling the voters of the area about the development work done in his assembly constituency Chamkaur Sahib. Channi says, I have come to stay here. My ancestors are from here. I assure you that I will stay with you and serve you. At the same time, BJP candidate and sitting MP Sushil Rinku is confident of the performance of the Modi government at the Center for 10 years. In the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Congress candidate Santokh Chaudhary won the Jalandhar seat. However, Chaudhary died of a heart attack during Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in January 2023, after which Rinku won the by-election. Voting for all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will be held on June 1.

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