Polling in last phase to help Akali-BJP alliance in Punjab, says Sukhbir Badal
Shiromani Akali Dal core committee authorises Sukhbir Badal to decide candidates, which, he said, will be announced in a weekUpdated: Mar 14, 2019 09:00 IST
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said that polling in the last phase of the parliamentary elections on May 19 will help the SAD-BJP candidates as all leaders will be able to concentrate solely on campaigning in the state.
“Also, the build-up of pro-Modi wave across the country by then will help improve the prospects of the coalition in Punjab,” Sukhbir told HT, adding that the candidates will be announced within a week. As per the arrangements of the SAD-BJP coalition in the state, SAD will contest on 10 seats and BJP on three.
The SAD president said CM Capt Amarinder Singh can’t devote much time for campaigning where as “I have already covered 85 assembly constituencies”. “We have chalked out our campaign schedule for the coming months,” he said.
On the murmurs of Union minister of state Harsimrat Kaur shifting her constituency from Bathinda to Ferozepur, Sukhbir said “99% chances are that she will contest from Bathinda”.
Earlier, SAD’s core committee and working committee authorised Sukhbir to select the candidates. Addressing the 151-member working committee and core committee, Sukhbir said once the candidates are announced, no one in the party is expected to oppose them. “Also, I want to make it clear that no party leader will leave his or her area during the campaigning,” he said.
He asked party cadres to work for the victory of the coalition candidates which will lay the ground for victory in the 2022 assembly polls. “Winning this election is must to send the message to the people, particularly outside Punjab, that Akali Dal is still strong in Punjab,” Sukhbir told the working committee members.
To observe March 16 as Vishvasghat Diwas
On a resolution moved by Lok Sabha MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, it was decided to organise statewide protests on March 16, which will be observed as ‘Vishvasghat Diwas’, to highlight the “failures” of the Capt Amarinder Singh government in fulfilling the promises made to the people.
Party leader Avinash Rai Dhanda suggested that the party should aggressively counter the state police with regard to the investigations into sacrilege and Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing, as “it is harming the party severely”. Rajya Sabha MP Balwinder Singh Bhundur proposed a resolution, condemning the alleged politicisation of the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing incidents by the Congress government.
The working committee also passed a resolution thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his full support to the celebrations of 550th Parkash Utsav of Guru Nanak and other issues concerning the community.
Donations to party must for all
The Akali Dal has made it mandatory for all party leaders and members to donate towards the party fund. Proposing the resolution in this regard, party secretary Daljit Singh Cheema said all senior vice presidents, general secretaries, halqa in-charges, MLAs and ex-MLas will contribute ₹1 lakh each, while ₹50,000 will come from each vice president and political affairs committee member, and ₹ 21,000 from each working committee member. “Each primary member will contribute ₹ 25, so that he or she feels the sense of belongingness in the party,” said Sukhbir.
Cheema said the party spent ₹ 5.67 crore this fiscal and donations of ₹4.43 crore were received. “₹1.39 crore was the carry forward amount from the previous fiscal,” he said.
First Published: Mar 13, 2019 22:44 IST