Shahkot bypoll: Senior leaders missing from action, AAP campaign fails to gather pace
Whereas there is no plan of AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal to visit Shahkot to canvass for Rattan, the state leadership has also shown reluctance to make its presence felt in the segment.punjab Updated: May 17, 2018 00:08 IST
With the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the thick of the action in the poll-bound Shahkot assembly constituency to canvass for their candidates, the principal opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s campaign is yet to gather pace as its senior leaders have failed to show up to address election rallies.
The AAP candidate, Rattan Singh Kakkar Kalan, has only got few leaders such as party’s state co-president Balbir Singh, vice-president Aman Arora and some MLAs besides local leaders to campaign for him ahead of the bypoll scheduled to be held on May 28.
Whereas there is no plan of AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to visit Shahkot to canvass for Rattan, the state leadership has also shown reluctance to make its presence felt in the segment.
While prominent Punjab AAP leaders such as Bhagwant Mann, HS Phoolka and Kanwar Sandhu have failed to turn up in the constituency for even once, leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Faridkot MP Sadhu Singh showed up just once when Rattan was to file his nomination papers.
A senior AAP leader said the party’s face from Shahkot Amarjit Singh Thind’s joining SAD after Kejriwal tendered apology to former minister Bikram Majithia has come as a shocker to the their cadre as people are giving a tepid response to Rattan, who is an unknown face in the segment.
Giving another jolt to the party, its Jalandhar district unit head Babbu Neelkanth had also switched to the Congress recently.
In the absence of prominent party leaders, Rattan along with a few local leaders has been going door-to-door to garner votes on the agenda of making people aware of the ‘dhakkeshahi’ (high-handedness) by the both “traditional parties”.
AAP’s Doaba in charge Paramjit Singh Sachdeva said they have deputed 12 teams which have been doing door-to-door canvassing for Rattan Singh.
“Every team is led by an MLA or a senior leader, while we are planning a rally near the elections where all the prominent leaders, including Manish Sisodia, Sukhpal Singh Khaira among others will come to address rallies,” Sachdeva said.
Rattan Singh said there is no plan of Kejriwal to visit the segment to address any rally while Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia will canvass for him.
Khaira could not be reached for comments.