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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Akali Dal banks on BJP top guns for final poll push

As suggested by the Akali Dal, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari will stay in the state for a couple of days and address smaller rallies, particularly in the urban areas.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 02, 2019 12:04 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
BJP,Amit Shah,Narendra Modi
SAD also wants Modi to address a rally in Ludhiana in support of its candidate Maheshinder Singh Grewal as the party feels it could be a gamechanger in the predominantly urban seat.(HT Photo)

In a bid boost its electoral prospects, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has sought the top leaders of its alliance partner BJP, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his senior cabinet colleagues and party chief Amit Shah, to campaign in Punjab that will go to the polls on May 19.

Modi and Shah will address three big rallies each. While Shah will address a rally in Pathankot on May 5, the PM is likely to address one in Bathinda, where SAD chief Sukhbir Badal’s wife and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal is contesting from, on May 13. Modi will also address another rally in Hoshiarpur the same day.

The dates for the remaining three rallies are being finalised, it was learnt. As suggested by the Akali Dal, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari will stay in the state for a couple of days and address smaller rallies, particularly in the urban areas.

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“Rajnath and Gadkari can make an impact in the urban areas because we are getting good response in cities as compared to the rural parts,” said an Akali leader. The Akali Dal, which is currently passing through a difficult phase due to the sacrilege and police firing incidents of 2015 when it was in power in the state, has all the more reason to rely on its alliance partner as a section of veteran party leaders last year raised a banner of revolt against Sukhbir’s leadership with some of them forming a breakaway faction, SAD (Taksali).

SAD also wants Modi to address a rally in Ludhiana in support of its candidate Maheshinder Singh Grewal as the party feels it could be a gamechanger in the predominantly urban seat. Apart from Pathankot, the party wants Shah to address rallies in Patiala and Jalandhar. Shah is also likely to address a rally in support of BJP’s Amritsar nominee Hardeep Puri.

Also read | Lok Sabha election 2019: BJP will lose badly in UP, says Priyanka Gandhi

We are trying to get Shah to address a rally in Anandpur Sahib,” said SAD leader Charanjeet Brar. SAD wants Rajnath and Gadkari to address smaller rallies in Ferozepur, where Sukhbir Badal is in the fray, besides Sangrur and Faridkot.

Sukhbir said, “We have been campaigning for three months and coming of senior BJP leaders in Punjab will give a big boost to the coalition’s prospects.”

First Published: May 02, 2019 09:52 IST

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