The stage is set for voters to make their choice after campaigning for zila parishad and block samiti elections ended on Friday evening. Parties' bigwigs and candidates left no stone unturned to seek votes on the last day of canvassing.
Senior leaders of different parties made extensive rounds of several villages. In order to cover maximum villages, they opted for short visits in different zones to seek votes for respective candidates for the May 19 elections.
Notably, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidates have been elected unopposed from 24 bock samitis seats out of the total 181 in the district.
With formal canvassing coming to an end, political parties would now deploy their trusted hands and influential people in villages to woo voters till the polling day.
In Sangrur district, it seemed more like the Lok Sabha elections rather than panchayat body polls, as Congress' member of Parliament Vijay Inder Singla and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa extensively campaigned on the last day.
Dhindsa leads Cong charge
Senior Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa took the charge of the poll campaign on the last day and travelled to several villages to woo voters.
The SAD leaders chose to campaign in their strongholds for the second consecutive day to ensure victory of their candidates.
Dhindsa also held an emergency meeting with the SAD leaders and MLAs from Sangrur and Barnala to review election campaign and devise strategies to ensure proper voting on the D-Day.
Dhindsa said in a blow to the Congress during the campaign days nearly 3,000 workers from several villages of both the districts had joined the Akali Dal in the past 10 days.
“Shifting of the workers clearly showed their suffocation in the party and care less attitude of senior Congress leaders,” Dhindsa said.
“The results of these elections will be bane for the Congress in future. It has become very difficult for the Congress leaders to answer queries of workers and common man over recent corruption cases, including alleged involvement of former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal,” Dhindsa said.
Singla flays 'goonds raj'
Meanwhile, taking note of the murder of a People's Party of Punjab (PPP) worker in Bathinda on Thursday, the Congress leaders reiterated that the SAD-BJP government was to blame for prevailing poor law and order situation in the state.
Addressing people at different villages, Sangrur MP focused on 'goonda raj' prevailing in the state allegedly at the behest of senior Akali leaders.
“After sand and liquor mafia, it was sorry state of affairs that now the SAD had started backing hooliganism and goons in the state,” Singla said.
“With prevailing law and order situation, citizens were not feeling safe. The time has come to teach a lesson to the SAD for sheltering criminal elements and trying to bulldoze the democratic mandate of the people,” Singla added.
Singla addressed public meetings at several villages, including Daraj, Dhola, Dhilwan, Aspalkalan, Lehalkalan, Bhutalkalan, Raitarana, Shadihari, Ladal, Phalera and Kanakwal, on the last day.
Attacking Dhindsa family, Singla said though Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son and Punjab minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa claimed their association with people in Sangrur district for years, the reality was that the father-son duo was not even aware about the real problems of people.
“Dhindsa's only knew how to shed “crocodile tears” for the cancer-stricken people of the area but can they answer what they had done for Sangrur? Their only interest to expand their private enterprises,” he said.
The MLAs of the Congress and SAD also held public meetings in respective constituencies.