Even as the campaigning for the parliamentary elections is steadily gaining momentum in this politically sensitive constituency, the disconcerted cadres of BJP could pose a challenge for the alliance in the city.
BJP leaders here had several times expressed their feeling of being neglected in the administrative circles as well as in day-to-day affairs. The feeling of alienation, that had gripped the party cadres here for quite a long time, is taking time to fade away even as elections are approaching.
The recent example of the alleged neglect of the alliance partner was the visit of deputy CMSukhbir Singh Badal in the city on Tuesday evening when he met some traders and BSP leader Sham Singh Jaura joined SAD. The BJP leadership in the city was not aware of the visit.
This is not an isolated incident when BJP leaders were neglected. In November last, the district unit chief Parminder Goyal had complained to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal about the neglect of the cadres here. Though BJP leaders claim of working wholeheartedly for the SAD, many of them feel that involving all party cadres was proving a gigantic task for them.
To address the sense of alienation and assess the alliance partner’s strength in the city, SAD MP and party candidate from the constituency Harsimrat Kaur Badal had met BJP leaders during a dinner party on Monday. Insiders in the BJP said that the main aim behind organising was to show that SAD can no longer ignore the BJP here.
Goyal said that ideally party leaders should have been taken into confidence on the visit of Sukhbir, as the municipal corporation ward in which the house of the BSP leader, who joined SAD, is located was represented by a BJP councilor, so BJP could have ensured better gathering of the people on the occasion.
Importantly, SAD had lagged behind Congress by 14,289 votes in 2009 parliamentary elections in Bathinda (urban) assembly constituency. This fact still pinches a number of party workers, and hence, a grudge against BJP cadres.