With eye on gaining absolute majority in the Punjab assembly, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal will hold a sangat darshan (public contact) programme in the poll-bound Dhuri assembly segment on Friday.
The seat fell vacant following the resignation by sitting Congress legislator (MLA) Arvind Khanna, who has left active politics for unknown reasons.
Badal has already completed two rounds of his sangat darshan programme and distributed grants totalling Rs 17 crore among 57 village panchayats and Dhuri town for developmental works. As per the schedule in this one-day programme, the chief minister will cover 15 villages.
A victory in the Dhuri byelection is vital for the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), whose relationship with the alliance partner BJP, is in the doldrums.
On the other hand, with a view to preventing the alliance partner SAD from getting a clear majority in the house, BJP leaders from the region are also staking claim to contest the Dhuri seat citing that the SAD's performance was very poor in the past elections. In the 117-member house, the SAD is one seat short of a simple majority.
If the party gains a simple majority, it can form government on its own without the alliance partner.