As the poll campaign for the Khadoor Sahib by-elections is nearing its end -- February 11 being the last day for campaigning -- the candidates in fray are leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters of for the bypoll slated for February 13.
Though the campaign has lacked the usual excitement in absence of Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates, as the parties had decided not to contest the bypoll, the contesting candidates, including Shiromani Akali Dal’s Ravinder Singh Brahmpura and AAP dissenter Sumail Singh Sidhu, could be seen meeting maximum people to garner support in their favour.
Senior Akalis camp in Khadoor Sahib
Almost all the senior Akali leaders, including cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia, Daljit Singh Cheema, Sewa Singh Sekhwan and Janmeja Singh Sekhon are here to woo the voters. Besides holding street meetings, they are also carrying out door-to-door campaign to approach the voters. As per sources, the leaders are not allowed to leave the segment as the last days are very crucial for campaigning and the party is keen on ensuring high voters turnout and large victory margin.
Ravinder Singh Brahmpura and his father MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura have covered almost all the villages of the constituency and are now holding small gatherings and interaction with the voters of the segment.
Meanwhile, Punjab deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal will be visiting the assembly segment to campaign for the SAD candidate Ravinder Singh Brahmpura on Thursday. He will be addressing the gatherings in remaining seven campaign zones, which he left untouched in his previous visits.
Rabbi Shergill leads Sumail Sidhu’s road show
AAP’s former state convener Sumail Singh Sidhu, who is contesting the bypoll as an independent candidate under the banner of Punjab Sanjhiwal Morcha, carried out a road show in the constituency on Wednesday.
Noted Punjabi singer Rabbi Shergill, who camped here to campaign for the AAP dissident, led the road show, which started from Goinswal Sahib in the morning and passed through as many as 27 villages, including Chutala, Walipur, Gorkha, Daleke, Kot Jaspat, Jiobala, Baath, Shehbazpur, Pakhoke, Kang, Kallah and Rashiana.
Sidhu’s aides, comprising of AAP dissenters and members of various protesting groups and left wing organisations, also organised street meetings and door-to-door campaigns. Some residents of Bargari village where the sacrilege incident took place last year, triggering unprecedented uprising in the state, have also reached the constituency to join Sidhu’s campaign.
Meanwhile, Sidhu also released his election manifesto “Ghadri Shaheedan Da Punjab, Inqlab Zindabad” for the bypoll. In the manifesto, he underlined the ‘resentment’ prevalent among the people against the ruling SAD-BJP alliance.
The manifesto raises the issue of drugs, sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib that took place in Bargari village of Fridkot district and other places, agrarian mess caused by low price of basmati verities, fake pesticides supplied to cotton growers, Moga Orbit bus incident, merciless killing of Bhim Sain in Abohar, industrial recession, etc and promised the voters to resolve their economic, social and religious issues. He also gave call to restore respect and dignity of Punjabi community.
Bhupinder Bittu’s conducts public meetings
Congress dissident Bhupinder Singh Bittu, who is also contesting the bypoll as an independent candidate, has been conducting street meetings. He is drawing good response from the people in these meetings, as he has been chairman of Khadoor Sahib Market Committee and has distributed a large chunk of money for development projects to the villages of the segment from the MPLAD fund of Rajya Sabha member Manohar Singh Gill. On Wednesday, he covered scores of villages under his campaign.