Having felt the pain of trailing behind the Congress candidate in 2009 parliamentary elections in Bathinda (urban) assembly constituency, the SAD, it seems, does not want to leave any stone unturned to change the situation in its favour this time.
It is, perhaps, for this reason that the SAD has almost flooded the city with its poll hoardings and banners seeking votes for its candidate. Besides bus stops and busy marketplaces, the party has also invaded the city with its publicity material by putting it up on streetlight poles on roads, that no eye can fail to notice.
Even leaders of the party, during the campaigning, have been time and again expressing the anguish of the party's lagging behind Congress candidate by 14,289 votes and have been asking people to vote for the party for the development works done in the city.
The hoardings, bearing pictures of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and sitting Bathinda MP, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, do not mention Harsimrat's name as the party candidate from the constituency but seek votes for the SAD-BJP candidates in general.
The Election Commission (EC) officials say there was nothing illegal in the installation of these hoardings. The hoardings, they say, have been put up as per the rules at the places designated for the purpose for which the party would have to pay as per the rates fixed by the municipal corporation, but the extraordinary level of hoardings and banners in the city shows that SAD will be spending a hefty amount on this front.
Additional district election officer Sonali Giri said that all these boards across the city have been put up according to rules as the places have been rented out to a private agency that further allots these places at the rates fixed for the purpose."So the political party concerned will have to pay for the hoardings and the expenditure in this regard will be added to the party's poll expenditure," she said.