As part of a plan to win Patiala in the Lok Sabha elections, the SAD-BJP coalition has fallen back on social engineering, a strategy that helped it romp to power in 2012 assembly polls.
So, to woo the Hindus and the Bahavalpuria communities, traditional Congress voters, the Patiala Improvement Trust will soon have a Hindu chairman. More than 40% of the city's voters belong to the Hindu community.
Besides this, SAD poll managers have decided that the Bahavalpuri community also deserves its attention and has asked cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakhra and Patiala planning committee chairman Deepinder Singh Dhillon to go within the people and build trust.
Patiala, Patiala Rural and Rajpura seats are dominated by Bahavalpuri votes and in assembly polls 2012, the Congress won here with margins of more than 20,000 votes on each.
Deepinder is a former Congressman and is expected to use his goodwill to transfer some of the votes to SAD. He has started attending community functions and announced that Punjab government will provide space to construct Bahavalpur complex in Patiala City. The party has built such a complex at Rajpura.
Deepinder Dhillon told HT "Please do not term it social engineering. SAD is taking care of every community and it believes in strengthening the social fabric of Punjab by giving due respect to every community."
"The party wants to give recognition to Bahavalpur community, as the Congress has always used them as a vote bank and never solved their problems. Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal will come and lay foundation stone for a hall for community," he added.