BJP banking on Badal to ensure victory
Every election campaign of BJP is normally characterised by the presence of Bollywood stars, but for Dasuya, it has changed its script and signed up only party workers with a solid track record of performance. For success, it is relying on chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's X Factor.punjab Updated: Jul 08, 2012 20:20 IST
Every election campaign of BJP is normally characterised by the presence of Bollywood stars, but for Dasuya, it has changed its script and signed up only party workers with a solid track record of performance. For success, it is relying on chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's X Factor.
Badal is leading the campaign for BJP candidate Sukhjit Kaur, wife of former MLA Amarjit Singh Sahi, whose death had necessitated the by-election. SAD was keen on giving ticket to Sahi and as promised it has taken upon itself the responsibility for her victory. It is campaigning far more aggressively than the BJP.
The saffron party leaders, however, maintained that SAD was more visible in the constituency due to its numbers. "They have so many ministers, MLAs and other office bearers to campaign whereas we have only 12 MLAs and ministers and a few other leaders. We are also working hard, but SAD workers get more attention," said a BJP leader.
For internal reasons the BJP leadership is not showing much enthusiasm in the campaign. SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also pointed it out during a joint meeting of zone heads of both the parties. Apart from Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna who leads the campaign committee, and Khadi board chairman Vijay Sampla, no other leader is making much effort.
State in-charge Shanta Kumar and election in-charge JP Nadda addressed two workers meetings each, while national secretary, Captain Abhimanyu has shown up only once.
Most leaders including Shanta Kumar, state president Ashwani Kumar, forest minister Surjit Kumar Jiani, former ministers Manoranjan Kalian and Tikshan Sud were caught napping on the dias during one of the meetings held in a market in Dasuya. The leaders who are not on the same page as Khanna, are also lying passive. Some are confused at SAD's over zealousness.
Due to the election code, the chief minister is not making big announcements but wherever he goes, he assures the public that he would fulfill their demands. His cadre is attracting sarpanches and block samiti members with grants. They tell them and whenever needed, warn them that their survival depended on government grants, which they would get if they align with the ruling party.
The trick is paying off as many elected representatives, hitherto aligned with the Congress, have joined the SAD's fold recently. On Sunday, a former zila parishad member Sushil Kumar joined BJP in the presence of the chief minister.
The alliance is also targeting the kandi area, which has been a traditional Congress stronghold. Amarjit Sahi did made some inroads but he lagged behind Ramesh Chander Dogra in most of its villages in the January election. This time, the alliance hopes to make inroads into the belt.