Former chief minister and now Congress campaign committee head for the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, on Monday said the actions of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal over the past few days betrayed his frustration over the public resentment against the state’s ruling party.
“Sukhbir is scolding his ministers and legislators for their failing to garner public support during the Akali campaign, a proof that he foresees the defeat of the Akali-BJP alliance in Punjab,” Bhattal told Hindustan Times after she addressed a public meeting here, motivating party workers to ensure the victory of Ravneet Bittu, Congress candidate for this parliamentary seat.
Sharing the details of her campaigning in Bathinda, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana and Fatehgarh Sahib constituencies, Bhattal said people everywhere were dissatisfied determined not to vote for the SAD-BJP. “In my entire political career, I have never seen such strong anti-incumbency,” she added.
Asked about the visit of senior Congress leaders to Punjab, Bhattal said party president Sonia Gandhi was likely to campaign in Barnala and Hoshiarpur on April 26 and she had requested party vicepresident Rahul Gandhi to canvass in Ludhiana and Faridkot on April 28.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Digvijaya Singh would also campaign in Punjab, she said. Campaign committee convener Surinder Singla said price rise, mafia, and drug addiction were the biggest election issues in the state.
“The SAD is not coming clean on drug manufacturing in Punjab. Even after the revelations by former police officer Jagdish Bhola, no one has been allowed to meet him. Ministers and MLAs are involved in drug trade and having lost their children to drug addiction, the people of Punjab are in no mood to forgive the government,” said Singla.