Chandigarh, May 2 : As the day of polling for Lok Sabha elections in this city beautiful approaches , the contest is set to be an interesting one as Pawan Kumar Bansal of the Congress looks to wrest this seat from Kirron Kher of the BJP, who is the sitting MP from here, rising on his rapport with the electorate as two term MP from the Parliamentary constituency.
At the same time, Kirron Kher, the sitting MP from the area, which goes for the polls on may 19, is equally confident of retaining the seat even though the Modi wave which ensured her convincing win from this parliamentary seat is not visible on the ground. The contest will be interesting as both the candidates are strong in their own ways. While Mr Bansal is a veteran politician who has served as the MP in the city beautiful for several terms , Kirron Kher, who defeated Bansal in the 2014 polls, claims to have done a lot of work that was in interest of all stratas of society.
While Bansal feels confident about his chances as he has already served people for more than two terms in the past and carries the tag of being mostly present in the city whereas his BJP rival is a prominent celebrity who claims to have taken forward developmental works in the right direction for the benefit of the city. Some people say that the present MP is less seen in the constituency and stays out of the city mostly,. However , Ms Kher has termed such reports are just rumours and says that she has been constantly visiting the city since she was chosen by the people and only stays out during parliament sessions.
The residents of the city, considered one of the most organised and systematic cities in the country, have been arguing for a bolstering of the the public transport system to serve the needs of the locals and also the habitants of the tri-city i.e. Chandigarh-Mohali-Panchkula from where people travel to and fro for their jobs. People in Chandigarh, especially the young generation, too feel the need of a better managed public transport system as well managed traffic system.
Of late there has been a proposal of a flyover that was opposed by a section of city hoppers as around 500 trees had to be chopped for its development.
The sitting MP had argued that it will solve the problem of traffic congestion at the busy Tribune chowk which witnesses traffic snarls in the office hours and added that for every tree that will be cut , five trees will be planted.
However, speaking to UNI a woman resident of Chandigarh said that the real need was effecient management of traffic at the particular junction in the office hours as people take that junction from the other cities to enter Chandigarh . What is required is that it is made sure that people follow traffic rules and some diversions be made suggesting alternative routes to avoid congestion at that junction. Youngsters here are more keen to get public transport system such as the metro rail while the middle aged and the elderly people want the serenity that the city is known for to be maintained.
Locals at many places also complained that compared to earlier times the cleanliness which the city was known for across the country has come down in the past three years and municipal management needed more attention.
Natives of the city have also expressed concern over the increase being witnessed in the population of the city after development of the adjoining places like Zirakpur and Mohali.
A rooted political leader in the Union Territory who also has been the MP from here for a couple of terms, Bansal last time lost to Kher because of the Modi wave and also because of his nephew's name coming up in a scam in which connection he was also questioned by government agency when the alleged scam came to light in May 2013. Bansal, however , claims there was no substantial evidence against him. However, this time round, with the Modi wave being non existent and the memories of the scam a thing of the past, Bansal is hopeful of getting support from the electorate and winning from this seat for a third term.
On the other hand, his rival Kiron Kher is hoping to retain the seat riding on the work done by her in the last five years and the popularity of PM Modi.
The city that holds a population of around 12 lakh people wherein the habitants are mostly occupied in tertiary and secondary jobs. UNI