Much against the expectations of the state BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leadership and activists, who were eager to flex their muscle in the state, the much-awaited high-profile rally of party’s national president Amit Shah here on January 22 has been put off.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, said: “The rally has been postponed due to the announcement of dates for the Delhi elections (February 7). Since the Delhi polls are very important, the party wants all its focus to be converged there. As very few days are left to the polls, the Amritsar rally of Amit Shah has been postponed.”
However, taking a potshot on the BJP, the Congress, in the meantime, said the BJP had postponed its rally after being “nervous” by the Congress rally on the same day.
When asked for a comment on the Congress’s statement, Chugh said, “They can say whatever they feel like. They have tasted big defeat at the hands of the BJP in the general elections and in many states. The Congress is welcome to hold a rally on the same day when the BJP announces a fresh date; they will taste the water.”
Even as the stage was set and enthusiastic party leaders and workers had been working three weeks in advance to make the rally a massive affair — perhaps in an attempt to score over their alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) anti-drug rally at Attari on January 6 — the postponement came as a big jolt to them.
A look at the venue at Ranjit Avenue and the ongoing preparations there reveal that how aggressively the BJP was working to make the rally a huge success. Even as ten days have been left for the rally, the venue has three stages ready.
From cabinet minister Anil Joshi and Chugh to ordinary party workers had been keeping a close eye on every aspect of the arrangements, since the rally was going to be a major platform for the state BJP to launch its much-hyped anti-drug campaign.