Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal began his two-day visit in Punjab by paying a visit to the families of Pathankot martyrs.
Kejriwal promised to give Rs 2 lakh each to the families of Capt Fateh Singh and Havaldar Kulwant Singh who died in the recent terror attack on Pathankot air base.
His visit is seen as his first call for the party’s 2017 assembly poll campaign in the state. He will address his first public rally in the state on the occasion of Maghi Mela on Thursday.
Ahead of the Muktsar rally, where the party is expected to sound the bugle for the 2017 assembly elections, a video was released where he greets listeners with the traditional Sikh salute, Sat Sri Akal, before inviting people to the event in chaste Punjabi.
“Please do come, I want to talk to you, bring rewris as I love them. We will sit together to talk and enjoy the rewri,” Kejriwal says in the video.
The Maghi Mela conference, where the AAP is expecting a good turnout, will allow the party to spell out its poll agenda for the people of Punjab.
AAP leaders are aiming to “repeat the historic win of Delhi polls in Punjab” which will help the party expand its footprint beyond the national capital.
The party performed well in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, winning four of the 13 seats.
Political circles were already buzzing with speculations of re-alignments and new partnerships ahead of the 2017 polls. Reports suggested that People’s Party of Punjab leader Manpreet Singh Badal, the estranged nephew of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, could be holding talks with the AAP leadership to “dethrone” the Shiromani Akali Dal in the state.
(with agency inputs)