Noted Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans has joined the race to Parliament as an SAD nominee from this industrial region and will slog it out against Mohinder Singh Kay Pee of the Congress.
Although as many as eight candidates are in the fray, Hans' appeal among masses will counter the traditional grip of the Congress over this constituency, which is going to the polls on May 13.
Jalandhar has been a Congress bastion since independence but the SAD-BJP alliance had bagged nine out of 10 assembly segments here during the February 2007 polls. The SAD leadership is now working overtime to repeat this stellar performance in this Lok Sabha election as well.
Moreover, to Hans' advantage, the BSP has fielded its nominee Surjit Singh, who is expected to eat into the vote base of the Congress.
Political observers say Hans enjoys huge support in rural areas because of his star appeal but his win will hinge upon his ability to convert supporters into voters.
On the other hand, Congress nominee Kay Pee is banking upon the anti-incumbency wave against the SAD-led state government, though Hans is trying to highlight failures of the UPA government at the Centre against economic meltdown.
Jalandhar's 13.35-lakh electorate comprises about 38 per cent of Dalits, 33 per cent of Sikhs, 14.77 per cent of Hindus, among others.