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SAD holds meet with local leaders

| | Chandigarh | in Chandigarh

A day after the Election Commission set the ball rolling for the Gurdaspur bye-elections, political parties in Punjab have intensified their poll preparedness considering that just about months’ time left for the first ballot battle after the state assembly polls this year.

Six months after the Congress returned to power after a decade with a thumping victory, the political hustle-bustle is once again back in the state.

With the saffron brigade’s top brass already camping in the constituency and galvanised the party cadre down to the booth level, its ally, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has held a meeting with the prominent leader of the constituency.

SAD has also convened its core group’s meeting on September 18 to chalk out its strategy for the poll, following which a meeting will also be held with the Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) senior leaders.

SAD president Sukhbir Badal met with party MLA from Batala Lakhbir Singh Lodhianangal, former Minister Sucha Singh Langah, former Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Nirmal Singh Khalon and former MLA Gurbachan Singh Babbehali - who have represented the party in the assembly constituencies under the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat. These leaders have been given the responsibilities of various segments as its in-charges.

Besides, senior leaders and former ministers - Bikram Singh Majithia and Sharanjit Singh Dhillon - were also present in the meeting.

Sukhbir directed these leaders to make the people aware about the SAD-BJP Government achievements and “failures” of the Congress-led Punjab Government as it has failed to fulfil its poll promises after six months of their regime.

The party leaders have been asked to galvanize the cadre and reach among the masses by conducting door-to-door campaign for the preparation of upcoming bye-election.

“SAD-BJP would elect the candidate for the bye-election together with the BJP, and the SAD would support the BJP candidate and we will surely win the seat,” said Sukhbir while talking with media after the meeting.

He alleged that the liquor and sand mafia is currently operating in present Congress government. “Congress government had made false promises to win the assembly elections…The farmers are protesting as the government had failed to waive the loan of farmers,” he added.

Switching into poll mode, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too has convened a meeting of its MLAs and office bearers onThursday, September 14, to formulate its poll strategy and allocate responsibilities, besides deciding on the candidate’s name.

The party had shocked the major political outfits in Punjab in 2014 by winning four of 13 seats. But, three years later, finishing at the distant second place was no less than a shocker for the AAP, which was confident of forming the government in the state.

With the party’s state unit given more powers by pulling out national level observers from the state - something which the state leaders claimed to be the main reason for party’s defeat, AAP is hopeful of making a comeback in Gurdaspur elections.

AAP has set up a three-member panel, comprising the state unit president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, his co-president and Sunam MLA Aman Arora, and the Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha Sukhpal Singh Khaira to decide on the candidate. The committee has, as of now, received about 10 applications from the aspiring leaders.

“AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is away to attend a 10-day Vipassana meditation camp in Maharastra. Before going, he has authorised the party’s political affairs committee (PAC) to take the decision,” a senior AAP leader told The Pioneer.

The ruling Congress, on the other hand, is waiting for Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s return from his London visit to take the final call on the candidate’s name, after meeting with the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

As of now, the majority of party MLAs under the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency have backed the state party chief Sunil Jakhar as Congress candidate, while the supporters of Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa are batting for Bajwa’s wife Charanjit Kaur’s name.

 
 
 
 
 

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