Asserting that the BJP high command is seriously contemplating expansion in Punjab, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) national president and Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur on Sunday said the party high command is of the view that they have better prospects in the next assembly polls in the state.
Asked if the BJP is taking Punjab seriously, Thakur, who was here to address a rally of the party youth wing on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh at his native village, said when they can come to power in states like Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Maharashtra, it has better chances in Punjab.
“In the three states, we came to power recently, even as we faced several issues related to organisational structure. In Punjab, we already have the experience of running a coalition government and have a better party structure. We are very serious about Punjab or why else I will come to attend this rally despite my busy campaign schedule in poll-bound Bihar,” said Thakur.
It is for the first time that the BJP organised a rally on the birth anniversary of a martyr in the state on its own.
When asked if the news of party expansion could worsen the already sour relationships between the BJP and its alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal, the BJYM chief said a crucial party meeting will be held to discuss these issues in February next year.
During the rally, several BJP leaders raked up the issue of drugs, saying eradication of drug problem would remain their core issue in Punjab.
“You look at the youth of Punjab and compare them with their counterparts in other states. You will get the idea how drugs have ruined the youth here. Even few areas of the Hamirpur constituency which I represent in the Lok Sabha, especially that share border with Punjab, have also come under the grip drug problem,” the BJP leader said.
Thakur, who also inaugurated the party’s Panch Kranti Abhiyaan aimed at contact with the masses that includes yoga kranti (yoga revolution), swachchta kranti (cleanliness revolution), kaushal kranti (skill revolution), kanya shakti kranti (woman power revolution) and nirmaan kranti (manufacturing revolution), said the youth wing would touch every village in Punjab appealing to the youth to benefit from the central government programmes and shun drugs.
He also took potshots at the Punjab government for a worsening industrial scenario in the state.
State BJP chief Kamal Sharma also raised the drug, taking an indirect take jibe at the leaders whose name have been appearing in drug scams in Punjab.
“Our party’s stand on the issue is very clear. Be it any minister in the government or any of our relative or police officers, they will face the music if found having any drug connection,” said Sharma.
Union minister of state Vijay Sampla spoke about the achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BJP national vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP Avinash Rai Khanna skipped the rally. Leaders from the Kamal Sharma group such as national secretary Tarun Chugh, local bodies minister Anil Joshi and CPS Som Parkash attended the rally.
The rally did not get much response despite an impressive gathering in the beginning as several in the audience had left the venue by the time it concluded.