It took Congress’ Punjab affairs in-charge, Shakeel Ahmad, more than a week to come to poll-bound Dhuri constituency. Asked what kept him, he said: “I was monitoring things from Delhi, and moreover (state party president) Partap Singh Bajwa and (former chief ministers) Captain Amarinder Singh and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal were here.”
He arrived with Bajwa and Bhattal, who have been canvassing for Congress-backed Sanjha Morcha candidate Simar Pratap Singh Barnala. On the statement from Amarinder that he had come to Dhuri on his own, Ahmad said the Congress unity could be judged from the fact that on the day of nomination, “we all were here and still are together”.
He said he agreed there had been misunderstanding for a few days, “but those have been clarified”. “We never announced that the entire party will campaign together. We sent in campaigners based on the requirements of our candidate,” he added.
“There has been no development in Dhuri for eight years. People are fed up with the Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state, and we hope to win with a good margin,” said Ahmad, who also visited Vijay Inder Singla, former member of Parliament from Sangrur, on the 10 death anniversary of Singla’s father.
Every day, we are gaining: Bajwa
Dhuri: Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa is confident of a big victory in the Dhuri assembly byelection. “It will be a milestone before the 2017 assembly elections towards the goal of Badal-free Punjab.”
“Every day we are gaining the support of voters and will fight pitched battles in villages and the city,” said Bajwa, adding: “Those who objected to Simar’s being from outside the party now have fallen in line because of the clean image of the Barnalas.”
The Congress leader said farmers in not only Dhuri but all of Punjab were feeling cheated since the Badals had supported the new land acquisition bill that the BJP government at the Centre had introduced in Parliament. “The SAD-BJP government will have a rude shock when the result is out,” said Bajwa.