The SAD leadership on Friday has been asked to get ready for a “do or die” battle in the 2017 Assembly elections to live upto party chief’s declaration to rule Punjab for 25 years.
In a meeting of Akali leadership of all levels at the party head office here, CM Parkash Singh Badal asked party politicians to put party ahead of everything and work aggressively to ensure the victory in upcoming elections. The Akali Dal is set to announce its candidates in the coming days, and Badal, in order to contain any rebellion, assured aspirants who failed to get the ticket would be “adjusted” suitably.
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Sukhbir, meanwhile, told party members to make their presence felt in their respective constituencies and negate “false propaganda” against the party by Congress and AAP. He also asked them to expose the “hollow promises” allegedly made by Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh on the farmer loan waiver issue.
An Akali politician said party activists were told to reach out to farmers to press for “affidavits” from Congress for their loan waiver. They were asked to convince farmers that the majority of the loans in question related to the Centre and Amarinder would be in no position to waive these loans.
The leaders were directed to tell farmers that “Congress was again trying to befool the people in the same manner in which former party leader Giani Zail Singh had promised to give 5 acres each to the poor, but did not fulfil it.”
In contrast, party members were asked to propagate that SAD-BJP combine was paying more than Rs 5,000 crore towards power subsidy to farmers. The Akali Dal also decided to burn the effigies of Congress leaders in all the constituencies on November 3 to express anguish over 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The leadership would assemble in Amritsar on November 4 in connection with November 5 elections for the SGPC president and executive of the SGPC house elected in 2011.
Sukhbir Badal asked the party workers to mobilise people in a big way for the big rallies party was organising in all three regions of Punjab Majha, Malwa and Doaba. On November 1, SAD is organising a rally in Amritsar to mark culmination of golden jubilee celebrations of Punjabi Suba. A party leader said a target of 1.5 lakh gathering during the function was given during the meeting. On November 6, SAD would hold a rally in Doaba to inaugurate a phase of Jange-Azadi memorial at Kartarpur. For December 8 rally at Moga in Malwa region, one of the biggest rally envisaged by the SAD to formally launch its poll campaign for 2017, a target of atleast 7000 people from each constituency for the rally was fixed in the meeting on Friday.