Independent candidate from Amritsar South Gurpartap Singh Tikka and his supporters waving to the Cessna plane, which he hired to shower voters with pamphlets and flowers on Saturday. Munish Byala/HT
It may well qualify for the most expensively innovative campaign method used in these Punjab polls. Independent candidate from Amritsar South segment, Gurpartap Singh Tikka, made his agenda rain, quite literally, on his electorate as he hired a small aircraft that showered pamphlets and flowers on a large area of the segment for about half an hour. Tikka has jumped into the fray after being denied the ticket by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
As the Cessna-172 aircraft, hired from the Amritsar Aviation Club, took off from the international airport in Rajasansi nearby, supporters gathered at Tikka’s house armed with drums and flags. As soon as the aircraft was near enough to be spotted, the beat of the dhol and cheers rented the air.
And then it rained propaganda!
Tikka stood on the roof of a house throughout and appeared to be waving to the pilot and then to the residents.
It was quite a last hurrah on what was officially the last day of campaigning. “I adopted this idea because it was unique and not used recently,” said Tikka.
Other candidates tried their bit. Actor Raza Muraad reached the holy city to campaign in favour of Congress candidates. He went to the Central and West segments seeking votes for OP Soni and Jasbir Dimpa. He also campaigned for party nominee Karamjit Singh Rintu in the North segment.
For the BJP, local MP Navjot Singh Sidhu took out a road show in favour of his wife Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who is contesting from Amritsar East constituency.
Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha was expected to lead this road show but he did not turn up.
Actor Kirron Kher also campaigned for the BJP nominee in Pathankot, though there has been some talk about the absence of Gurdaspur MP Vinod Khanna on the campaign trail. Khanna was present at Pathankot when senior BJP leader LK Advani’s anti-graft rath yatra reached there in November.