Congress’ sitting MLA Dalvir Singh Goldy is projecting himself as the only ‘local face’ to counter chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann
The Dhuri segment will witness a ‘fight of faces’ this time as the Aam Aadmi Party has fielded its chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann from the segment for the 2022 state assembly elections. The sitting Dhuri MLA and Congress candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy Khangura claims that he is a local face and voters will elect ‘their own son’ and not ‘outsiders’.
Being a railway junction, Dhuri is well connected but it is completely a rural segment comprising 74 villages and one town. Though Mann got a lead of 24,071 votes in the 2019 parliamentary elections from Dhuri assembly segment, Goldy had bagged the seat by a margin of 2,811 votes over his nearest rival AAP’s Jasbir Singh Sekhon in 2017. Sekhon was polled 46,536 votes against Goldy’s 49,347.
Over the years, the Dhuri segment has elected both party-backed and independent candidates. In the 2015 by-poll, Gobind Singh Longowal (SAD) bagged the seat after the sitting Congress MLA Arvind Khanna resigned. Before that, Iqbal Singh Jhundan won as an independent in 2007, Gaganjit Singh of SAD in 2002 and Dhanwant Singh as an independent in 1997.“I welcome Bhagwant Mann but there is no wave this time. The seat was being represented by outsiders in the past, but people now want one of their own to represent them,” said Goldy.
“It does not matter that the CM face of AAP is contesting from Dhuri. I am very confident. I have worked hard and people will not choose an outsider. The next CM will be from the Congress party anyway,” he added.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) denied the ticket to the family of former chief minister Surjit Singh Barnala and has fielded ex-Sangrur MLA Parkash Chand Garg. Garg said if Mann wanted to rule Punjab, he should have contested against Sukhbir Singh Badal, Navjot Singh Sidhu or Charanjit Singh Channi. “If Mann is the CM face of AAP, I am also deputy chief ministerial face of the SAD,” Garg said with a smile.
AAP’s senior leader and Sunam MLA Aman Arora said, “The president of a party can contest from any seat. All seats are safe for Bhagwant. It is a proud thing that a leader from Sangrur district is going to become the chief minister of Punjab.”