Karnal: Karnal has been a constituency dominated by the Punjabi community. Congress's Sumita Singh is the current MLA, but the competition is a tough three-way fight in this year's Assembly elections.
While the main battle will be fought between the Congress and the BJP, the INLD and an Independent candidate are giving them a close fight. Following are the key candidates in Karnal this Assembly elections:
Manoharlal Khattar, BJP: Even as rivals see Khattar as an outsider, he is being seen as the Chief Ministerial candidate within the BJP circles. Khattar was an RSS worker from 1980 to 1994 and then joined the BJP. Sources say he is a close aide of PM Narendra Modi. Riding on the Modi wave, Khattar, a bachelor above the age of 60, is confident of winning the Karnal seat.
Surender Singh Narwal, Congress: Narwal has been a rural leader in Karnal and is thus believed to be more aware of people's issues. Narwal is taking on his BJP rival head on, calling him an 'outsider' in Karnal with the slogan 'Apna Karnal, Apna Narwal'.
Jai Prakash Gupta, Independent: Gupta has been an experienced contestant in the race for Karnal. Gupta won Assembly polls twice on a Congress ticket and has also contested from the HJC and as an Independent. This year again, Gupta is being seen as a popular candidate and is fighting as an Independent.
Others: Manoj Wadhwa of the INLD and Tej Pal Garg of the HJC are also in the race for Karnal.