Shiromani Akali Dal president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal launched his campaign for BJP nominee Sukhjit Kaur for the July 11 Dasuya by-election by holding a rally at the ancestral village of former Congress minister Ramesh Chander Dogra, father of Congress candidate Arun Dogra.
Back from his US trip, Sukhbir addressed seven election rallies in Talwara and Dasuya towns to give the much-needed impetus to an otherwise lacklustre poll campaign of the ruling alliance in hot weather conditions.
During his speeches, he did not forget to target Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh's style of functioning to keep the audience in splits.
"Raje nu pucho Talwara kithe hai, ta usnu nahi pata hona. Par je Lahore da puchonge ta jhat dass dau (Amarinder will not be able to tell where Talwara is, but will quickly tell where Lahore is.)," Sukhbir quipped.
"Amarinder announced he will camp in Dasuya during the by-polls, but he has failed to campaign for the Congress nominee except for a day due to his inability to face hot weather conditions. How will the Congress fight for public issues when its president prefers to enjoy cold mountain weather during summers rather than redressing public grievances," the SAD leader remarked, asserting that the Congress was a "spent force" in the country.
He was also quick in comparing Capt Amarinder with his father and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. "My father is 85 years old, but still you will find him working in different parts of the state daily.
"The hot weather has never proved a deterrent for the CM in discharging his duties. He is a true public servant and that's why Punjab has progressed under his leadership," said Sukhbir, who was accompanied by ruling combine's poll incharge BS Ramoowalia.
Sukhbir also thanked the people of the state for acknowledging the "development works undertaken by the previous SAD-BJP government" by voting the alliance back to power for the second consecutive term.
Sukhjit Kaur too appealed to the voters to ensure her victory in the by-poll. Others who spoke include Avinash Rai Khanna, Rajya Sabha member BS Ramoowalia.
Deploy UN peacekeeping forces, Sukhbir tells Cong
On Congress' fears of hooliganism by SAD-BJP workers on the polling day and demand for deployment of paramilitary forces to ensure free and fair voting, Sukhbir said let the opposition party ensure deployment of UN peacekeeping forces in Dasuya for free and fair elections. "But where is Capt Amarinder Singh hiding? Let him come into the poll arena to face the situation on the polling day," he quipped.