Sounding the poll bugle, union minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur has started a comprehensive mass contact programme to gear up workers for the coming Lok Sabha elections to seek her fourth consecutive win from the Patiala constituency.
Having less to speak on her personal achievements and also affected by various scams of the UPA-II, Preneet Kaur is primarily targeting the ruling SAD-BJP alliance to garner the support of the people in her constituency.
As external affairs minister, she remained busy in touring different countries for the past over four-and-a-half years and hence could not spare much time for her constituency, which she earlier used to nurture very well.
Her poll managers had suggested her not to accept frequent assignments to the foreign countries and convey to the ministry that she needs time for her constituency as well.
Apart from the city, Preneet toured Samana, Patran, Nabha and rural areas of Patiala during the past one week, indicating that she wants to complete the first leg of campaigning much ahead of the poll announcement.
During closed-door meetings with her poll managers and open meetings with workers, Preneet Kaur has asked them to focus on the issues of property tax, steep hike in electricity tariff, sand mafia and the deteriorating law and order to sensitise the public about the
mis-governance of the SAD-BJP combine.
She has also been taking feedback about the impact of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Patiala, which is claiming to have 60,000 members in the district. Her poll managers are evaluating as to how much the AAP will dent the Akalis and the Congress and which of these parties will be affected in a bigger way.
While addressing the workers also, Preneet Kaur often trains guns on the Shiromani Akali Dal for failing to bring even a single major project and shifting most of the grants to Bathinda, the Lok Sabha constituency of Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the wife of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, and other areas associated with the Badal family.
In a meeting at Lahori Gate in the city, Preneet Kaur announced that she would start a drive against imposition of property tax in Punjab and rising electricity bills. She said that even small families are getting electricity bills between Rs 10,000 and Rs 30,000. "The electricity tariff in Punjab is highest in north India and it should be decreased", she said attacking the Akalis also for imposing VAT taxes on the urban people.