To counter an intensive campaigning by ruling Congress in Shahkot Assembly constituency, which is going for a bypoll on May 28, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal has decided to camp there for nine days starting May 18. He will remain there till May 26, the last day of the campaign.
According to the campaign schedule, former deputy chief minister Badal will visit almost all the blocks of the Shahkot constituency, besides the city areas. He will conduct around 10 poll meetings daily for around seven hours from 12 noon to 7.00pm.
A senior SAD leader said that after seeing Congress MLA Rana Gurjit Singh’s strong strategy to win this constituency, party high command has realised that it should also intensify its poll campaign here. “So, the SAD president decided to come directly to the ground himself,” said the senior leader.
Congress leaders are visiting every village and every ward of the city areas and making the voters aware about the government’s policies pertaining to development projects.
Shahkot constituency is considered to be the strongest seat of Akalis in Doaba region as SAD candidates had tasted victory from here five times in a row from 1997 to 2017. Even in 2002 and 2017, when the Congress had come into power in the state, the seat remained with the Akalis.
In 2002, Congress had a clean sweep with nine of the 10 Assembly constituencies in Jalandhar district (now there are nine seats after delimitation), barring Shahkot.
This time, however, Congress has a fair chance of winning it as by-elections are mostly in favour of ruling parties. In Punjab, it has four years to go.