The intensity of the electoral battle here could be gauged from the fact that the ruling Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance and the Congress on Saturday chose the Lambi constituency in remote Muktsar district to organise rallies to wrap up their campaigns. Punjab goes to the polls on January 30.
At Lambi, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is locked in a fierce triangular contest with his younger brother, Gurdas Singh Badal, contesting for the People's Party of Punjab, and cousin, Mahesh Inder Singh Badal, a Congress candidate. The Akali Dal-BJP alliance rally chose to seek a repeat mandate to “honour the spotless statesman” Parkash Singh Badal's six decades of political life so that he could complete his development vision for Punjab. The rally was addressed by the former BJP chief, Rajnath Singh; the former Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala; president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union Ajmer Singh Lakhowal; president of the Sant Samaj Baba Harnam Singh, who heads the religious seminary Damdami Taksal, and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Describing the CM as a politician with the tallest national stature, Mr. Rajnath Singh and Mr. Chautala reminded the crowd that it was Mr. Parkash Singh Badal who had played a historic role in defending the interests of Punjab and opposed Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
In his address, Mr. Sukhbir Singh emphasised that Mr. Badal was responsible for the development of Lambi. He said that the CM would go down in history as a grassroots leader who knew the pulse of the people and created tailor-made policies according to the requirements of the masses.
On the other hand, predicting a landslide victory for the Congress, its State unit president Amarinder Singh said the party was tipped to win over 75 seats. He claimed a groundswell of support for the Congress. He made a fervent appeal in favour of party candidate Mahesh Inder Singh Badal, who, according to him, was a gentleman with a clean image unlike the “other Badals.”
Spelling out his agenda, Capt. Singh said the top most priority of the Congress government would be to create job avenues for about 47 lakh unemployed people in the State. Earlier, he addressed rallies at Talwandi Sabo, Rampura Phul Nihal Singh Wala and Goniana Mandi.