Confident that his party could win, if the contest was within rules, Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday asked the workers of his party to not go down in the block samiti and zila parishad elections without a fight.
Offering stiff resistance to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is on his mind. "Rural Punjab is fed up with the policies of the state government," he told the workers. "If the government allows free and fair elections, we will win."
The deteriorating law and order in Punjab would be a major issue in the panchayat elections, he stated. The state Congress would continue to fight for bonus on the minimum support price of wheat and oppose the increase in electricity tariff, said Bajwa. "We got the Centre to withdraw the wealth tax on agricultural land and the state government to review property tax," he added.
The state Congress president also held the state government responsible for unemployment and the menace of drug abuse in villages. He asked the Congress workers to highlight these issues while campaigning. "The government backtracked on promises made to the Dalits and Backward Classes in the election manifesto. Play up that as well," he said.
He warned the Akalis against influencing the election team and misusing the police to prevent the Congress candidates from filing nomination papers. The state Congress has observers at block level and a legal cell to monitor the panchayat elections.