By Peerzada Arshad Hamid
AMRITSAR, India, April 29 (Xinhua) -- The official campaign period in the ongoing Indian general elections winded up Monday evening in India's northern state of Punjab but majority of voters in the state remained uncertain on whether or not the candidates who are asking for their votes can addressed their problems.
Since the campaign started, the air in this holiest city of Sikhs (a minority community) has been charged with election fever. Open spaces in the city were lined up by larger-than-life posters of candidates, their party flags with conspicuous symbols. Handbills can be seen on walls and the roads littered with campaign materials.
The election has been the main topic among morning walkers in Company Bagh, customers along roadside tea stalls in busy city streets and in sleepy and dusty villages of Chabba in the city's outskirts.
Candidates of the different political parties have made last- minute rallies and road shows to woo voters to their side. However, amidst this din and noise, residents here said that they still don ' t believe that the elections would change their lives for the better. "Let me tell you that all politicians have failed us by not delivering on whatever promises they have made during the election time," Deen Dayal Arora, an Amritsar resident said. "I get confused after listening to these people talking about religious ideologies, intangible threats, etc but the real issues that bother me as a citizen are not being addressed."
Like Arora, most people in the state want the political parties to talk about improvement in health care, programs that would benefit the farmers, combating drug menace, security for womenfolk and improvement in standard of living.
The Punjab state sends 13 members as elected representatives to the 543-member lower house of Indian parliament known as Lok Sabha.
Last year the Congress Party won eight seats in the state and India's right-wing Hindu nationalist party Bhartiya Janta Party ( BJP) got only one. The remaining four went to a regional party Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD).
The BJP has entered into a pre-poll alliance with SAD. The two have been running a coalition government in the state since 2007.