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The Punjab unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is pulling out all stops for the visit of its national president, Amit Shah, in Jalandhar on November 20 even as the party battles adverse reactions within its core support base over the demonetisation issue.
BJP intends to use the visit of Shah to put up a grand show where the party is able to display its numbers and to convey the message that the morale of its cadres is high. The BJP president will address a rally of booth level workers of the party at Dussehra grounds in Jalandhar. A senior party leader said that they expect at least one lakh workers to attend the rally. “With 21,000 booths in the state, the figure of one lakh is a conservative estimate as we expect a good response,” said Vineet Joshi, State Secretary of BJP.
However, reports emanating from the ground level workers of the party are said to be worrying as there has been adverse reaction from the core supporter base of the party, the trading community, on the manner in which the demonetisation exercise has been carried out. With the entire spectrum of trade and industry hit by the cash crunch, the party has come in from severe criticism from its own supporters. The party would also want to use the visit of Amit Shah to send a strong message in favour of the demonetisation drive in order to undo the negative effects, said a party functionary.
However, Joshi refuted the reports that there was an dissatisfaction among the voter base of the party in Punjab. ‘We do not see any negative effects and, in fact, people have welcomed the move. As far as the traders are concerned they would rather be happy that the people who used to take bribes from them will not be able to do so in future because of the crackdown on black money and, thus, they will be left with more profit,” he reasoned.
Meanwhile, the state BJP president, Vijay Smapla today appreciated the move of the Punjab government for ‘laying to rest’ the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue. Hitting out at PPCC chief, Capt. Amarinder Singh, for ‘ditching’ the people of Punjab in the hour of crisis, Sampla said, “While the Akali-BJP coalition government of the state denotified the land acquired for the canal and is giving back to the farmers former Haryana CM, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, of the Congress is demanding President’s Rule in Punjab,” he said. Sampla said that Amarinder’s vision is just limited to 2017 assembly polls.