Malerkotla (Punjab): A keen contest is on cards
in this Muslim-dominated constituency where wives of two top
police officials take on each other in a high-stake political
battle in the Punjab Assembly elections.
Ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has fielded first-timer
Farzana Alam, wife of retired DGP Mohammed Izhar Alam against
main opposition Congress` two-time MLA, Razia Sultana, wife
of Additional Director General of Police, Mohammed Mustafa.
More than the candidates, it is the prestige of two
senior cops which is at stake. The two sides are leaving no
opportunity to score points over each other.
Alam, who retired over two years back, starts his day
early joining his wife for campaigning.
The ex-DGP is trying to build rapport with his electorate
whose overall number is around 1.60 lakh including 58,000
Muslims, highlighting the initiatives he had taken for this
constituency in his capacity as the head of Punjab Wakf Board.
"First, when I took over the Wakf over two years back, I
turned the loss-making entity into profit. From a mere income
of Rs 3.63 crore when I took over, the income has now touched
Rs 19.31 crore," Alam said while campaigning for his wife.
Farzana, a graduate and a housewife, is soft spoken but
is critical of her opposition camp. She has accused Mustafa of
misusing police machinery to pressurise voters to cast votes
Sultana, however, has launched a counter-attack on the
Alams. "You know me how hard I have worked for betterment of
this constituency......SAD has failed on all fronts," says
Sultana, while listing a few developmental projects she has
got for the area.
"I trust my people and know quite well they will repose
faith in me this time as well," she says exuding confidence of
another win from here.