Sunday, June 16, 2019
facebook
Chandigarh

Posted at: May 24, 2019, 7:02 AM; last updated: May 24, 2019, 7:02 AM (IST)

Why city goes with nation’s mood

Amarjot Kaur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23

In the previous Lok Sabha elections, the last three in particular, the City Beautiful has witnessed a voting trend of sorts. Its people have elected the candidate belonging to the party forming the government at the Centre. Riding on the Modi wave, BJP’s Kirron Kher won the 2019 polls today with a margin of 46,970 votes. Most political experts credit the city’s UT status to the merit of Kher’s two consecutive wins and her arch rival Congress’s Pawan Kumar Bansal’s 2009 victory. Here’s a lowdown on the city’s tryst with political power-play.

It’s November 1, 1966, just a year before the fourth Lok Sabha elections, when the state of Haryana was carved out of the East Punjab while the west portion was renamed Punjab. Chandigarh, on the border of both states, was declared a union territory to serve as capital of both states. The 1967 victory fell in the lap of the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Indira Gandhi. In Chandigarh, people however voted for their first MP, Chand Goyal, from the right-wing Bharatiya Jana Sangh. 

Navjot, chairperson, Department of Political Science, PU, said, “The city gets maximum votes from colony-dwellers now. They vote probably to get something from the party, hoping it will elevate their status. This year, most women voted for Kirron, perhaps because of the Ujjwala Yojana.”

In the 1971 general elections, Amar Nath Vidyalankar of the Indian National Congress was chosen the city’s representative in the Lok Sabha. That year, despite the bitter bickering that led to the split of Congress into two factions — Indian National Congress (R), led by Indira Gandhi, and the Indian National Congress (Organization). The Indira-led Congress government came to power at the Centre. The city toed the line of popular political swing in the country in 1977, when it voted Krishan Kant of Janata Party. Back then, Morarji Desai was chosen India’s first non-Congress Prime Minister.

In 1980, and 1984 too, the city voted for the ruling-party candidate and its two-term MP Jagannath Kaushal of the Indian National Congress (Indira). The trend sealed the fate of the city’s 1989 candidate Harmohan Dhawan of Janata Dal, who contested the same seat this year as Aam Aadmi Party nominee.

In 1991, the city opted for Pawan Kumar Bansal of the Congress. That year, the Congress won the general elections. In 1996 and 1998, a similar trend was witnessed as the BJP came to power and so did its city candidate Satya Pal Jain.

To this, Harmohan Dhawan, said, “Chandigarh is a UT and is controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs. People expect that development work will be done and so they vote for the ruling party, I feel.”

Post-1998, the city has consistently voted for candidates from the ruling parties, be it Bansal or Kher. Chander Suta Dogra, former AAP spokesperson and columnist, opined, “The city is a UT and administered by the Central Government. It is a ‘sarkari’ set-up. This time, the BJP penetrated the new sections that were politically inactive, including women voters. Polarisation and chest-thumping nationalism too played major factors, as did the Balakot impact.”

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal said, “In 1999, it was Atal Bihari’s government and Krishana Lal Sharma, senior national vice-president of the BJP, was contesting against me here. Then, Atal ji came and stayed in the city for a day. Still, I won. Even in 1991, ours was a minority government. I haven’t yet applied my mind to why the city votes for a ruling party candidate. We were expecting a good win, this time.”


The city gets maximum votes from colony-dwellers now. They vote probably to get something from the party, hoping it will elevate their status. This year, most women voted for Kirron — Navjot, chairperson, Department of Political Science, PU

TThe city is a UT and administered by the Centre. It is a 'sarkari' set-up. This time, the BJP penetrated the new sections that were politically inactive, including women voters. — Chander Suta Dogra, former AAP spokesperson  

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On