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Omicron threat: Congress plans booth-level events instead of big rallies for now

The campaign committee meeting chaired by committee chairman, Sunil Jakhar, and attended by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, decided that they would follow the RSS way of seeking votes by working at the grassroots level and getting in touch with the electorate personally.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
January 3, 2022 5:06:36 am
Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi (File)

Ahead of the Assembly elections in Punjab and a threat of third wave due to Omicron variant looming large, the Congress campaign committee Sunday decided to take the campaign at grassroots level and depend on person-to-person contact instead of huge rallies in the state.

The campaign committee meeting chaired by committee chairman, Sunil Jakhar, and attended by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, decided that they would follow the RSS way of seeking votes by working at the grassroots level and getting in touch with the electorate personally.

“Congress leaders and workers will organise meetings at the booth level, following the Covid protocol, wear a mask and meet people. Also, small meetings would be organised. This will reduce the need for large rallies. For now, we will just see how the Omicron variant of Covid behaves in the election bound state. Huge rallies will be organised later after witnessing how the virus behaves. Rest, we will see how all other parties roll out their campaign,” a leader privy to discussions said.

He added, “The meeting took place amid exceptionally cordial atmosphere. Channi and Sidhu were praising each other copiously. It seems things are going to settle between them.”

The committee also decided that they would showcase the works done by former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also.

“It was discussed whether Channi’s three months rule should be showcased. But it was decided that the party should also showcase the debt waiver scheme for farmers, the enhancement of pension and shagun scheme and other works also. These were done by the Congress government. The campaign would be designed around all these achievements. The 100 days of Channi’s government cannot be segregated although he will emphasise on power bill waiver and also slashing of power tariff besides others,” said a leader.

The party has already decided on a collective campaign instead of designing it around an individual leader. The billboards would have pictures of all important leaders. Last time, the state Congress had its campaign designed around Amarinder.

Both Channi and Sidhu had come together at the meeting after the latter pushing to be declared a CM face ahead of elections. The meeting however did not have any shadow of Sidhu’s campaign, sources said.

Pargat, Mustafa meet Sidhu

Cabinet Minister Pargat Singh and Sidhu’s chief strategic advisor Mohd Mustafa met PPCC chief at Pargat’s ministerial residence in Chandigarh after the meeting and are learnt to have attempted to make him see reason that the party could not declare him the CM candidate.

The meeting was going on till the filing of this report.

Earlier also, the party had sent Cabinet minister Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and MP Amar Singh to Sidhu with Pargat joining in online. Sidhu had, however, refused to budge from his stand and was seeking he should be declared the CM candidate.

Finally, Pargat and Mustafa met Sidhu on Sunday to impress upon him that he should not insist on being declared the CM candidate as SC votes, that the party hopes to get consolidated behind Channi, would go to other parties.

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