Despite his claims that the three day sangat darshan progrmme in dhuri was not aimed at the Dhuri bypoll, the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal could not resist giving a call to Dhuri voters to elect those who "served" them. Just like in any other election speech the CM went on to list the various welfare schemes of his government as also its achievements.
On the last day of the three day sangat darshan in dhuri assembly segment the CM addressed a gathering in village Mirheri exhorting them to not get swayed away by the hollow slogans of the opposition parties.
"You must elect only true public servants rather than entertainers for ensuring better progress of state and prosperity of its people," he said taking a dig at the sitting MP from the area Bhagwant Mann of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
He slammed AAP for misleading the people by showing them green pastures. He said that it was a well known fact that the elected MPs of AAP have miserably failed to deliver anything to the people.
Badal said that anyone could entertain the people by catchy slogans but only the SAD was committed to serve the people and safeguard the interests of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat.
Badal also slammed the Congress leaders for raising questions over his sangat darshan programmes in Dhuri and said that the they were not a campaigning measure for the impending by-polls.
The assembly constituency is up for grabs with the Congress MLA Arvind Khanna resigning earlier this week.
"It is the public money, and we are spending it for the welfare and development of the people, but I don't understand why the Congress is raising questions on it", said the chief minister addressing a gathering in Harchand Pura village of Dhuri.
However, the chief minister said that whenever the people of Punjab have bestowed upon the responsibility of serving the state to them, the SAD-BJP alliance government has accorded top priority to ensure the welfare of weaker sections of the society.
He said that the pro-poor schemes like Shagun, Atta-Dal, Mai Bhago Istri Vidya Scheme and others have been launched by his government, for safeguarding the interests of the poorest of poor in the society.
Badal, however, made it clear the Shiromani Akali Dal will field its candidate from Dhuri assembly segment and said, "Everyone is aware that the SAD has contested the Dhuri seat several times, and this time too we will solve this issue by sitting together."
The sangat darshans, which began on the January 21, are scheduled to go on till January 29 with the chief minister expected to cover most of the Dhuri assembly segment.
He also extended his supports to farmers, who are planning to take the streets against the land acquisition ordinance promulgated by the Centre. "The farmers are in a big problem as most of them are debt ridden and the government should work to protect their interests", he said, adding that since it was their government at the Centre they would appeal them (the Centre) to look into the demands being raised by the farmers.
Badal refused to comment on Captain Amarinder Singh's 'Lalkar rally' in Amritsar and said, "I don't want to comment on that, every political party has a right to hold rallies."
Badal also ridiculed the statement of senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal's about the "rift" in the SAD-BJP alliance saying, "There is no rift in SAD-BJP, we are old alliance partners and we solve every issue by sitting together."
Women not allowed to raise demand during Sangat Darshan
Women failed to receive representation at the chief minister's Sangat Darshan as the male members in almost every village asked most of the questions. The police also played their part in keeping the away women from the chief minister as group of the elder women, who had wanted to raise the demand of upgradation of the primary school in the Bangawali village to a high school as girls have to travel 10 km every day for study after fifth class, had to return empty handed.
"We arrived two hours ago so that we could get an opportunity to raise our demand, but we were not allowed to go near the chair of the chief minister," said Jasmail Kaur, a resident of Bangawali.
Did not get reward for voting for SAD, alleges Muslim supporter
The chief minister had to face the fury of a muslim supporter of Akali dal, who accused SAD leadership of not doing anything for their community since they came to power 8 years ago.
Shah Mohammad, a daily labourer from Harchand Pura village put forth several demands for the muslim community of his village - a concrete street, a separate dharmshala and a graveyard. When the CM agreed to look into his demands, Shah retorted "We had to wait very long to meet you."