Caste card pays off in Ferozepur again

Continuing his winning streak, the sitting MP from Ferozepur, Sher Singh Ghubaya of SAD on Friday trounced his nearest rival Sunil Jakhar of Congress by a comfortable margin of 31,420 votes.

PTI| Last Updated: May 16, 2014, 19:33 PM IST

Ferozepur: Continuing his winning streak, the sitting MP from Ferozepur, Sher Singh Ghubaya of SAD on Friday trounced his nearest rival Sunil Jakhar of Congress by a comfortable margin of 31,420 votes.

During the last Lok Sabha polls in 2009, Ghubaya had defeated Jagmeet Singh Brar of Congress by a margin of 21,071 votes by bagging 4,50,900 votes.

This time, Ghubaya secured 4,87,932 votes. An almost ten per cent increase in his vote share since five years ago.
With this resounding victory, Ghubaya has not only consolidated his position within the party but has also reaffirmed his stature as indisputable leader of the dominant `Rai Sikhs` community in this constituency.

Known to vote en-block on caste lines, the Rai Sikhs, on number of earlier occasions had determined the outcome of electoral battles fought here and it was no different this time.

Ghubaya took a hefty lead of 32,888 votes from Jalalabad assembly segment which is represented by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Besides, he also took lead of 10,047 and 9,428 votes from Fazilka and Guruharsahai assembly segments respectively.
Rai Sikhs have significant presence in all these three assembly segments.
On the other hand, Jakhar could not pull out a convincing margin from Abohar and Balluana, from where he took lead of 5,662 and 5,764 votes respectively.

In the four assembly segments represented by Congress legislators in this Lok Sabha segment, the party could take lead from Ferozepur Urban and Abohar only, whereas it lost from Muktsar and Guruharsahai.

Satnam Paul Kamboj of AAP who belongs to `Kamboj` community polled over 1.13 lakh votes which ostensibly affected the prospects of the Congress candidate.

Moreover, the internal strife within the Congress party also proved detrimental for the fortunes of Jakhar.

Earlier in 1996, Sunil Jakhar had lost to another Rai Sikh - Mohan Singh Phalianwala of BSP. However, the party was expecting him to revive the charisma of his father Balram Jakhar this time around.

Balram Jakhar had won this seat by margin of 1.94 lakh votes in 1980.