In what has become a major burden for postmen,Punjabs Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and his wife Harsimrat Badal,who will be contesting from Bathinda,have despatched lakhs of letters to citizens,seeking votes and support. Carrying colour photographs of Sukhbir and Harsimrat,letters bearing Noida postal stamp are being slipped into the letterboxes of oblivious residents,whose addresses have been gleaned from voters lists.
While Sukhbirs missives have been addressed to men and are on the official letterhead of the party,those by Harsimrat are addressed to women and carry her Safdarjung Road,New Delhi,address.
Harsimrat says,this bright idea of mass contact initiative is of Pradhanji (Sukhbir Badal). During the Nanhi Chhan programme,I used to note down the addresses of the women I had met. I had planned to get in touch with them.
The content of the letters by these political wordsmiths is also interesting. I studied economics from the United States and,at that time,the facilities provided by the government impressed me a lot. But these failed to keep me there because I wanted to make my birthplace,Punjab,as good as the US, Sukhbir says in his letter.
Harsimrat,meanwhile,tells the womenfolk of her constituency,besides me,our whole family is serving Punjab in some way or the other. Though I am not on any political post,my mission is to make Punjab a leading state of the 21st century… I want my sisters to get basic amenities,education,healthcare,employment opportunities and security.
However,the letters have the postmen fretting. Ehna chithian ne nak vich dam kar rakhya hai (These letters have become a pain in the neck), a postman says. At least five lakh letters have already come to the post office in huge bags, says another postman at Bathinda post office. It is a big nuisance. Sometimes,it is difficult to trace the addressees.