Devotees at the Baba Bakala gurdwara near Amritsar on the eve of Rakhar Punia.(Sameer Sehgal /HT)
Devotees at the Baba Bakala gurdwara near Amritsar on the eve of Rakhar Punia.(Sameer Sehgal /HT)

Punjab: AAP, SAD to corner Congress govt at Rakhar Punia mela today

Both the opposition parties will take on the Congress government on farmer suicides, debt waiver and unfulfilled pre-poll promises
Hindustan Times, Amritsar | By Aseem Bassi
UPDATED ON AUG 07, 2017 09:04 AM IST

The opposition Aam Aadmi Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) are all set to corner the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government during their political conferences during the Rakhar Punia mela at Baba Bakala on Monday. It will be the first political gathering in the Majha region by major parties in the state after the assembly polls.

Since chief minister captain Amarinder Singh, who has been targeted by the opponents for restricting himself to Chandigarh mostly after the elections, will also be reaching Baba Bakala to lead the Congress show, the district administration and Congress workers were on their toes to ensure proper arrangements.

As this will be Amarinder’s third visit to Amritsar district after winning elections, local Congress leaders held meetings to ensure a successful show on Monday.

The Congress is likely to focus on its achievements in its nearly five-month rule and also will list out its future plans. Cabinet ministers Navjot Singh Sidhu, Rana Gurjit Singh, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa and state party chief Sunil Jakhar along with other local leaders are likely to attend the conference.

The event will also be a test of popularity for the political parties, including the ruling Congress, before the municipal elections, which are likely to be held by year-end.

Similarly, the SAD, which is out of power after ruling the state for a decade, is also leaving no stone unturned to make its rally a success. Former cabinet minister Bikram Majithia is himself looking after the arrangements as the Akali top brass, including former CM Parkash Singh Badal and SAD chief Sukhbir Badal will be leading the show.

All Akali leaders of the Majha region, once a stronghold of the party, have been asked to mobilise crowds to ensure maximum participation in the event. The SAD managed to win just two seats of the 25 in the region in the assembly polls.

The Badals are likely to target the Congress government on farmer suicides, debt waiver, deteriorating law and order situation and other “unfulfilled” pre-poll promises.

The main opposition party in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Aam Aadmi Party, which failed to open an account in the Majha region, will also be roping in its entire state leadership for the Baba Bakala event to take on the Amarinder government.

Led by state party unit chief Bhagwant Mann and leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira, the AAP will be looking to target the Congress on not fulfilling the pre-poll promises and also the farmer suicides.

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