The seat has significance presence of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which had played a crucial role in breaking the strong dominance of the Congress on the seat. BSP entered the fray in 1989 when it contested the election in alliance with United Akali Dal headed by Simranjeet Singh Mann and lost but it marked its presence by securing 1,08,067 votes.
In 1992, BSP fielded Mayawati but she too lost but polled 90,461 votes. All Akali factions had boycotted the election at that time. However, in 1996 BSP founder Kanshi Ram contested in alliance with Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD and won the seat.
In 1998, BJP won by inducting three time Congress MP Kamal Chaudhary and later these have been alternate wins between Congress and BJP.
In 2014, when Punjab proved to be national outlier ducking the Modi wave, BJP managed to win Hoshiarpur with 13,582 votes. It was Sampla’s first major election and what surprised many he was inducted in the Union cabinet apparently to woo Dalit votes. He was also appointed state unit president apparently for the same reason.
The constituency has six assembly segments of district Hoshiarpur and three from other districts – Phagwara and Bholath from Kapurthala, and Sri Hargobindpur from Gurdaspur. Out of these nine segments in 2017 BJP-SAD could win only Phagwara and Bholath was won by Sukhpal Khaira on AAP ticket, who has now formed his own party. The rest were won by the Congress. However, Sampla does not enjoy best of relations with Phagwara BJP MLA Som Parkash.
BJP contests from four assembly segments in the constituency – Hoshiarpur, Dasuya, Mukerian and Phagwara, while the rest are contested by ally SAD. Hindus have a considerable vote share in the constituency which also explains the victory of Congress in 1989 in a highly polarized election, and then of BJP in 2014.
Hoshiarpur has found representation in Union cabinet for a consecutive term as in UPA-II, local MP Santosh Chaudhary was also elevated as MoS for health. However, in 2014 election Chaudhary was denied ticket and then sitting MP from Jalandhar – Mohinder Singh Kay Pee was fielded from here. However, the most high profile representation of the constituency in union cabinet was when Giani Zail Singh became Union home minister in Indira Gandhi’s government after winning the election from here in 1980. Two years later in 1982, he became first Sikh President of India.
This time if an alliance between BSP and Punjab Democratic Alliance finally works out then the contest can turn triangular. In 2014 election, AAP candidate had polled 22.2 % votes.
The constituency has parts of ‘Kandi’ area which has its own peculiar problems including semi-hilly areas having stones in earth, very low water level and wild animals coming to graze over crops. The constituency has sugarcane as one of the major crops and one of India’s oldest sugar mills in Phagwara.