It’s peak summer and nothing could be hotter than politics in the poll- bound Punjab. Instead of rushing to the salubrious hills, top national politicos are making a beeline for the state in the coming days, turning the heat up several notches.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) sarsanghchalak (head) Mohan Bhagwat began his three-day visit to Punjab on Saturday from Gurdaspur where he is attending an RSS “shivir” (camp). The 20-day “shivir” will see participation of over 700 RSS workers and Bhagwat will be here for three days. This is Bhagwat’s first visit to Gurdaspur.
On Monday, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will lead a protest in Jalandhar against the drug menace and deteriorating the law and order in the state. Rahul’s visit comes amid a raging row over film ‘Udta Punjab’. The organisers are mobilising youth to make the protest a success.
Union water resources and river development minister Uma Bharti would be next to visit the state. She will be in Moga on June 14, where she is expected to talk about the two-year achievements of the Union government and how various schemes started by the centre have helped the people at the grassroots level. She would be staying in Moga for a day and will pay tributes to martyrs at the Shaheedi Park before addressing a public gathering. She will then visit Kurewala in Moga to listen to the grievances of the people.
The Congress is likely to keep the political atmosphere charged with a massive rally planned on June 18 in chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s home turf, Lambi, against the recruitment scam. The scam, which involves selective leakage of question papers of various examinations for government jobs, has been linked to a close aide of Badal in the area. An ongoing vigilance bureau investigation in the scam has found that a SAD councillor from Malout, also the right hand of Badal’s aide, allegedly contacted candidates who paid lakhs to gain access to the question papers. Initially, the rally was planned at Badal village, but the venue was later shifted to the grain mandi in Lambi.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley will visit Bathinda on June 19 as a part of celebrations to mark NDA government’s two years in power. The show is largely for the BJP workers but with elections in the state due early next year, the SAD is planning to turn his visit into a big event. Union minister for food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal is coordinating with BJP in Bathinda to organise a public meeting for which party workers and people are being mobilised.