With elections less than a year away, all three major political parties in the state —Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Congress and Aam Aadmi Party — are gearing up for a show of strength on the Baisakhi at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda on April 14. This is going to be last of political gatherings on religious fairs before the state heads for assembly elections in early 2017.
Expecting huge crowds, all the three political parties have decided to go for venues much bigger than last year.
The AAP, which witnessed record gathering during Maghi mela conference in January, is leaving no stone unturned to repeat the same on Baisakhi rally.
This time, AAP has decided to hold the rally in eight acres of land against four-acre venue last year. Moreover, its senior leaders are accompanying local leaders to mobilise workers and people in the villages across the region.
Baljinder Kaur, AAP’s state women wing president, said “The party has now proper structure and has mass appeal. Though we are visiting villages, towns and cities across the city, the maghi mela gathering proved that people willingly attend our rallies,”she said.
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has already directed his party office bearers to mobilise cadres and ensure their presence in huge number on the occasion. He also held a meeting with senior party leaders on Saturday to oversee the preparations regarding the venue and parking for the convenience of party workers. Unlike the past years, SAD has now planned to hold its rally in a 15-acre plot near the main gurdwara instead of the inside premises of Takht Damdama Sahib.
A senior leader in the party said the deputy CM has given special instructions to make the right choice of venue this time.
The SAD rally witnessed thin gathering since it had chosen a venue about 7km away from the main gurdwara during the maghi mela conference.
“The leaders must ensure that they start much early from their respective destinations and reach the venue well before time. We have also made plans for proper parking of private and VVIP vehicles,”Sukhbir said while addressing a meeting of office bearers on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Congress’ Manpreet Badal, who is the in charge for the rally, is holding village to village meetings with Congress workers. Former Congress MLA, Gurpreet Singh Kangar, said, they have identified a 14-acre plot near tractor market in Talwandi Sabo.
“The preparations are in full swing as the senior leadership will be present on the occasion. PPCC president captain Amarinder Singh will be the main speaker.”