After a gap of almost three months, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal will resume his sangat darshan programmes on November 26 and 27 when he re-establishes direct contact with the people of Khadoor Sahib assembly constituency. This is being done with an apparent eye on the bypolls in the assembly segment.
The last sangat darshan was held in Lambi (Muktsar), the constituency represented by the CM, on August 18 and 19. Thereafter, the public contact programme was suspended following incidents of sacrilege. These incidents led to protests all over the state with people targeting the ruling SAD leaders and even assaulting some of them.
The exoneration of Dera Sacha Sauda head in September by the Akal Takht made matters worse for the ruling SAD, the Badals in particular. Security reasons and the fear of being manhandled led to the suspension of all sangat darshan. Not just the CM but even deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal suspended his sangat darshan which was to be held in the Ajnala constituency in the last week of September.
However, with the situation improving and the success of the Sadbhawna rally at Bathinda has led the CM to once again resume his contact with the public. The CM gives a lot of prominence to such programmes as he feels this is the best way of getting firsthand information of the problems of people and finding solutions on the spot.
Khadoor Sahib bypoll
The reasons for choosing Khadoor Sahib for the sangat darshan are obvious. A bypoll is expected to be held in the assembly segment following the resignation of Ramanjit Singh Sikki of the Congress, who quit the state assembly early this month after an incident of sacrilege at Baath village in the constituency.
In the 2012 assembly elections, Sikki had defeated SAD’s Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, the veteran Akali leader. Brahmpura was elected to the Lok Sabha from Khadoor Sahib parliamentary constituency last year.
Indications are that Brahmpura may have persuaded the CM to hold the sangat darshan in the Khadoor Sahib segment in view of the bypoll. The CM places a great deal of trust in the MP and Akalis are likely to field Ravinder Singh Brahmpura, the son of the veteran Akali leader, for the bypoll.
According to the tentative schedule, the CM, in company of Brahmpura, will visit around two dozen villages during his two-day stay in Tarn Taran and meet people. He will also visit Khadoor Sahib town, Goindwal Sahib and Fatehabad and will review the ongoing development projects. Grants are likely to be announced for new developmental projects.