Bitter Poll Rivalry Tears Apart Family Fabric in North
By Harpreet Bajwa - CHANDIGARH
Published: 06th Apr 2014 10:04:30 AM
The great wall of election rivalry has divided many families and has soured the strongest blood-ties in India. In Haryana, a fresh animosity has taken birth. While the bitter saga between the Badal cousins continues in Punjab, battles are drawn in Haryana’s Ambala (reserved) constituency where Kapoor Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party is pitted against brother-in-law S P Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party. The fight for votes has widened the wedge between the brothers-in-law.
Both candidates had taken premature retirement last year from their respective jobs to take the political plunge. Kapoor was an Executive Engineer in Haryana government for 28 years. “Since the times Kanshi Ramji formed BSP, I have been supporting them,” said Kapoor. He was reluctant to contest the election. “I did not want to fight the elections but the party asked me. I accepted their decision. In the last eight months, I have covered the constituency thoroughly. I will win this seat,” he said. On his brother-in-law, S P Singh of AAP, Kapoor says, “I have no relationship with him. The family told him that I am fighting elections and hence he should not fight. But he did not agree. Nobody in the family is supporting him. He used to visit me once in a while and now that will come to an end.”
S P Singh, the AAP candidate, a retired manager from State Bank of India worked for 26 and half years. He says, “I am not fighting election. I am working for a movement. I joined Haryana Insaaf Society and came in touch with AAP during the Delhi Assembly elections. I joined AAP and applied for a ticket from Amabla and got it. Kapoor and I have different ideologies. I had a lot off family pressure to not fight the elections as he got into politics before me. But I stood by my decision. Let’s see what happens,” he says. Kapoor talks about development, corruption, education and unemployment. His rival S P Singh talks about how Ambala has been ignored.
The heat and dust of rivalry is soaring in Punjab’s Bathinda Lok Sabha seat. Shiromani Akali Dal candidate and sitting MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal is fighting against her estranged brother-in-law—Chief of People’s Party of Punjab, Manpreet Singh Badal, who is fighting on the symbol of Congress. In the previous LS election, Manpreet, cousin of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal, had campaigned for Harsimrat. But just a few days before the 2012 Assembly elections, he parted ways with the Akali Dal and formed his own party PPP. He was Finance Minister in SAD-BJP Government.
Manpreet feels the Shiromani Akali Dal is facing the tsunami of anti-incumbency. “The anti-incumbency wave would uproot the party from its very foundations.” Harsimrat had her power punch ready. Terming Manpreet as traitor of the Sikh panth, Harsimrat said, “Badal saab has taught him the ABC of politics. Nut now this man has become so big that he had started daring his authority. He (Manpreet) should drop Badal from his surname,” she adds.
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