Punjab politics on boil

Chandigarh: Elections have not even been announced yet and muscle fledging for the electoral battle ahead is already surcharged to tipping point, with yatra’s launched or on launch pad, accusations flying thick and fast, support being solicited and claims of betrayals being made.

Going on the offensive, congress launched it Punjab Bachao Yatra from Talwandi Sabo in Bhatinda district yesterday, demanding ouster of the Prakash Singh Badal government, the chief minister today in Gurdaspur termed Manpreet Badal’s floating of a new political outfit as betrayal and Manpreet’s attempt to keep religion and politics apart has brought him around to forming the Sanja Morcha with left parties.

“If the Akalis hit you once, hit them back twice,” is how congress state president Capt Amarinder Singh addressed party men at launch of the month long yatra, in presence of party incharge Gulchain Singh Charak, leader of opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Jagmeet Brar.

Not sparing words, Amarinder asked Badal to list out the government achievements and labeled hosting of the Kabbadi Cup an extravaganza. The money spent on it could have been better utilized for treating the poor in hospitals, he said.

Hurt by Capt Amarinder Singh choice of words, senior Badal responded by saying that such language did not behove coming from a senior congress leader.

To keep it flock together, Shrimoni Akali Dal and its president Sukhbir Badal had invited all legislators for inaugural of the Kabaddi World Cup at Bathinda.

Having popular actor Shah Rukh Khan for the opening and riding out in an open jeep with the megastar, has been used to bring about positive atmosphere before unleashing the ruling party election campaign.

Kabaddi has been used as a sport to reach out to rural voters, say opponents of the government and the event organizers.

With the four party alliance consisting of Peoples Party of Punjab, CPI, CPI(M) and Akali Dal (Longowal) having declared Manpreet Badal as the chief ministerial candidate of the Sanja Morcha, plans have been drawn to launch the Izzat Bachao Yatra from 6th November.

CPI has announced contesting 30 seats under the Sanja Morcha platform while CPI(M) would contest 20 seats, leaving rest of the field open for PPP.

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