BJP, Congress from Punjab found missing from the Delhi assembly poll scene | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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BJP, Congress from Punjab found missing from the Delhi assembly poll scene

The Punjab units of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress failed to make their presence felt during campaigning for the February 7 Delhi assembly polls, despite the fact that the national capital has a sizeable population of Punjabi and Sikhs.

chandigarh Updated: Feb 06, 2015 08:41 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Capt-Amarinder-Singh-former-Punjab-chief-minister-HT-Photo
Capt-Amarinder-Singh-former-Punjab-chief-minister-HT-Photo

The Punjab units of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress failed to make their presence felt during campaigning for the February 7 Delhi assembly polls, despite the fact that the national capital has a sizeable population of Punjabi and Sikhs.

Former chief minister and deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh reportedly stayed away from canvassing for party candidates. A source in the party said, “Some of our leaders from Punjab, such as state unit president Partap Singh Bajwa, ex-CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and former minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur came to Delhi and visited some constituencies, seeking votes, but a concerted campaign was missing and there no major plan drawn out for them, unlike previous assembly and parliamentary polls.”

As per reports, the Punjab BJP unit was told to stay back in the state and prepare for the civic body polls to be held later this month.

The Punjab cadres of the party had already suffered a setback last month when a series of anti-drug rallies planned by the state BJP unit were put off by the high command, citing the Delhi polls. Party president Amit Shah had been scheduled to launch the campaign from Amritsar on January 22.

“We were here for a few days to support our friends on a personal level,” said BJP’s local bodies minister from Punjab Anil Joshi. “Now I have returned to Amritsar,” he told HT, indicating that not much responsibility was given to leaders from Punjab.

State BJP Yuva Morcha president Mohit Gupta also returned to his hometown, Bathinda, two days before campaigning ended in Delhi on Thursday.

State party unit president Kamal Sharma was not available for comment on the matter. gurpreet.nibber@hindustantimes.com

In contrast, BJP’s coalition partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Punjab unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and its large number of activists are actively campaigning in Delhi. SAD leadership is not only campaigning in the four assembly seats (Rajouri Garden, Hari Nagar, Shahdara and Kalkaji) on which its candidates are contesting, but also on other constituencies which has high Punjabi and Sikh population.

The entire Akali rank and file including Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal remained stationed in Delhi and were seen actively campaigning in the national capital.

We never sought dera’s support, SAD

As the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh announced support for the BJP candidates in the poll fray in Delhi, SAD which has three candidates contesting on BJP symbol ‘lotus’ dismissed his support by saying that they have never approached dera for support. “Have we asked for the support,” questioned SAD’s Delhi unit president Manjit Singh GK adding that SAD would continue to oppose him and his movie. “He face serious charges of rape and castration and we are against him,” adds GK.