Tribune News Service
Gurdaspur, May 20
With three days remaining before the final result, both BJP and Congress leaders are exuding confidence that their respective candidates will go to Parliament with Sunny Deol making his debut while Sunil Jakhar, a sitting MP, making it for the second time.
Both candidates evolved their campaigns in contrasting styles and on Thursday it will be as clear whose strategy was more effective.
The film star’s movement was controlled from the BJP headquarters in New Delhi. Among the local leaders, only Pathankot Mayor Anil Vasudeva, who coordinated tactics on the seats of Bhoa, Sujanpur and Pathankot, and former Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma, who was made the overall incharge of the entire constituency, were privy to the plans.
Jakhar, apart from visiting the constituency several times ever since he was elected MP in November 2017, ran his campaign from the offices of all the seven sitting party legislators. “The people have voted for the Congress based on the work done by my legislators. My fight was not against Deol. It was against the policies of PM Narendra Modi, which, as everybody knows, are dividing the country,” he said. Deol, who has decided to take a few days of rest at a hill station, could not be contacted.
Congress legislators are hoping that the ‘anti-incumbency’ of the Capt Amarinder Singh government does not become an impediment in their candidate’s victory.
“Many of them rubbed the voters the wrong way in the panchayat elections. The groups and sub-groups, antagonised by them, inadvertently or otherwise, is the biggest factor weighing heavily on their minds,” quipped a BJP leader.
Ahead of the elections, a BJP in-house survey made it clear that out of all nine Assembly seats, the party may face the strongest challenge in Dera Baba Nanak from where Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa is the legislator.
“We focused on this seat. Even instructions from the BJP headquarters were clear that the maximum manpower and resources should be made available to the workers in Dera Baba Nanak. The logic being propounded was the Congress may use the Kartarpur corridor to its advantage,” said a leader involved in Sunny Deol’s campaigning.
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