The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) does not want to leave any channel unexplored to ensure the victory of its candidate Harsimrat Kaur Badal from Bathinda and, to win over scheduled caste (SC) voters in the constituency , the party has fielded Gulzar Singh Ranike, minister of state for SC/BC welfare.
Ranike held a meeting of his supporters and members of the district SAD Scheduled Caste Wing here on Tuesday.
His strategy to target the voters includes highlighting the memorials being built up by the state government such as those of Baba Jivan Singh, Sangat Singh, Bhagat Ravidass, Bhai Mardana, Diwan Todarmal, Baba Moti Ram Mehra and Bhagwan Valmiki and celebrations of their birth anniversaries by the Akali Dal.
It's pertinent to mention here that the state comprises around 35% dalit population and 15% scheduled tribes and backward classes. A large section of the dalit vote is known as the Congress vote-bank.
Addressing a gathering at DD Fort here, Ranike appealed them to vote for Harsimrat to ensure continuous implementation of welfare schemes for SCs.
Ranike emphasised on the atta-dal scheme launched by the state government and new blue cards given to the BPL families, shagun scheme and other schemes launched by the state government.
Speaking to HT, Ranike said, "I have started the poll campaign from Bathinda to bring awareness among SC voters. I would campaign in other districts also, but a schedule in this regard is yet to be prepared."