Wary of advances made by Congress candidate for Lok Sabha elections, Ravneet Singh Bittu, to woo city's disgruntled industrialists, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has also reached out to top business house owners asking for support for SAD candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali.
Gauging the nearly 2.5-lakh strong vote bank of industrialists, Bittu had recently met several members of the business community demanding support for the elections to be held in Punjab on April 30.
However, as the step could result in a setback for Bittu's rival Ayali, as he never interacted with these business house owners, Sukhbir, during his visit to the city on Thursday, also met different trade organisations.
During his meeting with members of the Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organisations (FICO), and another with those of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), Sukhbir asked industrialists for their support to Ayali.
Hero Cycles Limited chairman Om Parkash Munjal, Avon Cycles Limited director Mandeep Singh Pahwa and FICO chairman KK Seth, among others, interacted with Sukhbir.
Sourced said during his interaction with industrialists, Sukhbir told them that the Congress government at the Centre had not been able to do anything for the cycle industry in Ludhiana.
FICO president Gurmeet Singh Kular claimed that the state government had worked more for the betterment of the local industry. "There are several issues, including VAT refund, provision of electricity and release of electric connection in mixed land areas, that the state government has tried to resolved."
Avtar Singh, president of CICU, said during the meeting with Sukhbir, several problems of the industries were discussed. "Asking us to support Ayali, he promised that matters would be resolved after the elections," Singh added.