Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will campaign against Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal in Lambi and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal in Jalalabad during his three-day visit to the state from January 29.
Congress sources said the other details of Gandhi’s election tour are being worked out.
This will be the Congress leaders second visit to Punjab in the past two months. He had visited Beas, nearly 45 km from Amritsar, on December 18 to seek the blessings of the head of the influential Radha Soami sect Baba Gurinder Singh Dhillon. Gandhi had also attended the ‘satsang ’ by the Dera chief.
While Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh is contesting against the incumbent CM from Lambi, Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu is challenging the deputy CM from Jalalabad. The AAP has fielded Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann from Jalalabad and former journalist Jarnail Singh from Lambi. Jarnail Singh made headlines when he hurled a shoe at the then Union minister P Chidambaram at a news conference ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in protest against the Congress’ decision to field Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler who were named in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.
Prior to his Punjab campaign, Gandhi will flag off a bus of more than 500 NRIs to campaign for the Congress in the state.
These NRIs have come together under the banner of Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) and their campaign is being organised by the Congress party’s foreign affairs department, headed by Rajya Sabha MP Karan Singh.
“We have asked the NRIs to adopt one or two villages each ,” said Daljit Singh Sahota, head of the IOC’s United Kingdom (UK) chapter.