"My father had many dreams for Dasuya constituency. Kindly bestow your blessings on me to allow me to complete his development agenda," Dr Harsimrat Singh Sahi, 30, son of late chief parliamentary secretary Amarjit Singh Sahi, appealed to the SAD-BJP leadership during a condolence meeting here on Tuesday.
Harsimrat requested the BJP leadership to repose faith in him. "People of the area are like my family members. I will serve them till death," he said while addressing the gathering.
In their speeches, Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal virtually backed the candidature of Sahi's son. "Let we ensure the victory of the BJP candidate in the byelection as a tribute to Sahi's immense contribution to Dasuya's development," Majithia said.
Meanwhile, the announcement of the July 11 assembly byelection, necessitated by Sahi's death on June 3, has taken various political parties by surprise. With less than a week left for the start of filing of nominations, the BJP has called its core committee meeting on June 15 in Chandigarh.
Leaders who attended Sahi's bhog ceremony, including BJP national general secretary and state election incharge JP Nadda, hinted that a member from the MLA's family could be the candidate. Insiders said Sahi's son or wife would be the choice if the party wished to ride the sympathy wave.
Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna, who was instrumental in bringing Sahi into the BJP fold, is learnt to be pushing Harsimrat's case with the high command.
At least three BJP leaders who lost in the January 30 assembly polls are also eying the ticket. Sources said a senior BJP functionary, who wants former MLA Sukhpal Singh Nannu out of Ferozepur, is keen that the latter be engaged in Dasuya, arguing that replacing one Sikh candidate with another would help the saffron party maintain its secular image.
Sahi had defeated the Congress' Ramesh Chander Dogra in the 2007 and 2012 polls. The buzz is that owing to ill-health, Dogra, who represented Dasuya for four terms, would seek the ticket for his son.