In the second round of his much-hyped public rallies, former Congress chief minister and Amritsar MP Captain Amarinder Singh wants to gain the ground the party has lost in the Shiromani Akali Dal-dominated areas.
Ironically, Amarinder has not scheduled any rally in the Bathinda parliamentary constituency besides the assembly segments in Bathinda and Muktsar districts, which are represented by the Badal clan and their protégés, in the second phase of his campaign.
The former CM will kick off a rally at Rampura Phul on August 4, and another will be held at Jaitu in Bathinda district on August 30.
Both these assembly segments fall under the Faridkot parliamentary segment and even the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged as a dark horse with a win during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Pertinently, Congress candidate Gurpreet Singh Kangar had lost to SAD’s Sikander Singh Maluka from the Rampura Phul constituency in the 2012 assembly elections. Congress candidate Joginder Singh miserably failed against AAP’s Sadhu Singh in the parliamentary elections last year.
Joginder, who is also incumbent MLA from Jaitu, had polled 24, 017 votes, while Sadhu Singh got 45, 531 votes from his assembly segment.
Amid this, the August 4 rally may provide a platform for the Congress to make a show of strength, for which even its senior leaders have been leaving no stone unturned to make it rally a success.
Two-time former MLA from Rampura Phul, Gurpreet Kangar, who is also vice-president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), said all arrangements have been made as party workers are visiting each and every village in the constituency to garner support for the rally.
“After getting a huge response to the public rallies in the first phase, the enthusiasm can be seen among people since Captain saab is addressing public rally in this constituency after several years,” Kangar said.
He said though there were several factors behind the Congress defeat in the elections over the years, the Tuesday rally will help strengthening cadres before ahead of the 2017 assembly elections.
Party leaders are expecting huge response from Amarinder’s native village Mehraj.
Besides addressing the rally, Amarinder is expected to have interaction with Congress workers to get feedback about party activities in different areas, besides hearing their grievances.