After successful rallies in Patran and Samana, Shiromani Akali Dal's election rally at Patiala in favour of party candidate Deepinder Singh Dhillon turned into a disappointment and shocker for the local SAD leaders due to low turnout of people during the rally.
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who addressed the late evening rally at Behra road in Patiala city, witnessed empty chairs as local leaders failed to get expected response for the rally.
The low turnout not only left the organisers red-faced, but it does not bode well for Dhillon, who has been facing tough challenge from three times member parliament Preneet Kaur and first timer Dr Dharamvira Gandhi.
The rally was organised under the supervision of former minister Surjit Singh Kohli and former chairman of improvement trust Indermohan Singh Bajaj.
They were expecting a gathering of 1000-1200 persons.
People started leaving the venue as soon as Badal started addressing the gathering.
The inability of local councillors to exhort people to participate in the rally also came to fore.
Mayor Amarinder Bajaj, who looked after the arrangement for the rally, said people came in numbers but started leaving the venue while Badal was addressing the gathering.
"It is not right to say that the rally was a flop show. People from different wards came to hear their leaders and it was evident at the start of function. It has also been witnessed that people often start leaving the venue at the fag end of any function", he said.
Badal's plea to Kohli, Bajaj to dissolve differences while referring to cold war between mayor Amarinder Bajaj and former mayor Ajitpal Singh Kohli, Badal gave a clear message from the stage directing both the young leaders to mend their ways.
"Take it as a appeal or party directions, come over your personal rift and start working to ensure that the party win from Patiala", Badal said.
OSD to deputy CM reprimands local leaders
Reprimanding local leaders, including incumbent mayor and former mayor Ajitpal Singh Kohli, Charanjeet Singh Brar, OSD to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal admitted of poor show.
"You should not hold the rally in the city if you couldn't manage to ensure audience," Brar said at a meeting of councillors and other local SAD leaders, including former minister Surjit Singh Kohli and Indermohan Bajaj.
Meanwhile, Brar issued stern directions and assigned duties and responsibilities to different leaders for the victory of Dhillon.
"Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal has been monitoring the election of the Patiala constituency. He takes the feedback on daily basis and gives directions to plug the loopholes in the election campaign in Patiala", Brar said.