Undeterred by the controversy kicked by an illegal sand mining case registered against the Congress’s Shahkot bypoll candidate Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia, former minister Rana Gurjit Singh has been agressively campaigning for Laddi across villages in this primarily rural constituency.
On Sunday, Rana Gurjit visited around a dozen villages and sought votes for Laddi. Before the constituency goes to vote, Rana Gurjit plans to cover all of the 250 villages in Shahkot constituency.
“Under CM Amarinder Singh, the state is seeing tremendous development and Shahkot assembly constituency has already started seeing the results of Congress rule in the state. Several several development projects have already been sanctioned and in coming four years many more projects will come here,” Rana Gurjit Singh told the gathering at Yusufpur Alewal village.
During CM’s visit to the constituency on the day Laddi filed his nomination paper, the Congress candidate had termed Rana Singh is his ‘political guru’. He told The Indian Express on Sunday that he will emerge as winner with his ‘guru’ is by his side.
“He (Rana Gurjit) is my political guru and he is the one who brought me into politics over a decade back in 2004. Like a true ‘guru’ he is working very hard to ensure my victory by canvassing from one village to village,” said Sherowalia.
Calling Rana Gurjit his star campaigner, he added: “As per his planning, we are covering different areas so that entire constituency could be coverd before the bye-election.”
Congress party sources said that Rana Gurjit wants to ensure Laddi’s victory to reinforce party’s trust in him, following the sand mine row against himself. However, it is a tough contest for Congress as Shiromani Akali Dal too has its stronghold in the constituency. Late SAD MLA Ajit Singh Kohar had won from the constituency five times consecutively from 1997 till 2017. It is his demise that led to Shahkot bypoll.
Congress party insiders told The Indian Express that because of Rana Gurjit’s efforts several local Akali leaders have lately joined the Congress camp. Local leaders of SAD and other parties who joined in Rana Gurjit’s presence recently include Sarpanch of Pato Khurad village, Tarsem Bittu, Dalwinder Singh of Taharapur village, Numberdar Sabhi Dhaliwal of Maheru village, Ashwini, who was BJP Valmiki Sabha SC wing resident Mehatpur.
“When Rana Gurjit had contested for Lok Sabha seat in 2004, Sherowalia had looked after his entire campaign in Shahkot area and managed a good response, despite it being a SAD dominated constituency,” said a local leader Santokh Singh.