Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll: Dussehra, Ramlila turn vote-catchers as CM leads way
After the news of the CM’s plan, AAP candidate Maj General Suresh Khajuria is also scheduled to attend the festival at Dinanagar.punjab Updated: Sep 30, 2017 10:32 IST
With an eye on the sizable Hindu vote in Pathankot district that has three of the nine assembly segments that fall under the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat — which will see a bypoll on October 11 — political parties are seeking to strike the religious chord.
While the Congress is getting a push from CM Captain Amrinder Singh who will attend the Dussehra celebrations at the Pathankot stadium on Saturday, party candidate Sunil Jakhar has the famous Ramlila at Kali Mata Mandir in Pathankot on his itinerary for the day. Here, the stage is usually anchored by former BJP minister Master Mohan Lal who used to play the role of Ravana.
It is learnt that after the news of the CM’s plan, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Maj General Suresh Khajuria is also scheduled to attend the festival at Dinanagar.
And BJP candidate Swaran Salaria will attend the Dussehra at Manwal village in Sujanpur segment. The village is a stronghold of his Rajput community. Hindus constitute the majority in the LS segment by a thin margin ahead of Sikhs, and the Rajput community is a major force within that bracket.
The town has a history of Ramlila and politics being intertwined. Former Congress MLA Ashok Sharma is still playing the role of Lord Rama at the Ramlila grounds.
“Captain Amrinder Singh is going to attend Dussehra for the first time here, and we are happy as it is going to help our candidate Sunil Jakhar,” said Amit Vij, Pathankot MLA. “Before that, he will also meet ex-servicemen in the area, which will further strengthen our position.”
He stressed that the visit must not be seen as seeking votes on religious lines, “We are not targeting the Hindu voters but only aiming to win the seat for the benefit of the region.” He further claimed, “The Congress has never ruled on the basis of caste or religion, which remains the prime agenda of the BJP.”