Mukhtiar Singh Sandhu
Occupation: Former SP
Party: Punjab Lok Congress
Constituency: Nihal Singh Wala (SC)
Voters: 1.97 lakh (Male: 1.05 lakh, Female: 91,306)
Why politics: I served Punjab Police for over 30 years. During my stint as a cop, a lot of people told me that I was very good in public dealing. They used to say that I should join politics to serve people. I never said no to anyone who would need help during my police job. In 2019 also, I wanted to contest Lok Sabha polls from Faridkot but was denied ticket by the Congress. After retirement, I continued to work for Congress but this time also I was denied ticket. I am a fan of Captain Amarinder Singh so I joined his party. I think he is a dynamic decision maker who saved waters of Punjab. After his exit from Congress, it is just a directionless, divided house.
Winnability: If all candidates from my constituency have an open debate, public would get to know who deserves their vote. Most candidates in national parties land using a parachute and expect people to vote for them. They get ticket using their contacts but I have worked and mingled with people of my constituency for two years and they know me.
One promise: I will remove the ‘backward’ tag attached with this constituency’s name. It a reserved constituency where people are very innocent and they are used by politicians for their gains. Political class here suppresses common people who are mostly poor. No MLA from here has ever spoken up in the Vidhan Sabha to raise the issues of people.
Issues that matter: Development is the main issue. People here toil hard to get small works done because no one listens to them. They should get convenience and the best health and educational facilities. I also want to bring industry here so that youths get jobs. There will be no compromise on drugs and addicts will get free treatment if I am elected.
How has life changed: Earlier also, when I was in police, my days used to be hectic. Due to that experience and physical stamina, I am not feeling much change while campaigning. Even after retirement I never stopped physical workout which is helping me now.
By the way: I am a fitness freak. I like walking. I also enjoy writing.
The opponents: AAP has re-nominated its sitting MLA Manjit Singh, a former vernacular journalist and a writer. SAD candidate is Baldev Singh Manuke, an ex-serviceman. Bhupinder Singh Sahoke, a former Punjab police cop and an ex-Akali DAl leader, has been given Congress ticket.
–Divya Goyal Gopal
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Mukhtiar Singh Sandhu