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Patiala: Turncoats leave electorate confused over party symbols

Voters identify them with old parties

Patiala: Turncoats leave electorate confused over party symbols

Preneet Kaur with party activists in Patiala on Monday.



Tribune News Service

Mohit Khanna

Patiala, April 15

Amid the political tumult of last-minute defections and shifting allegiances, turncoats find themselves grappling with the challenge of communicating new party symbols to voters. The task is proving especially daunting in rural areas, where traditional associations between leaders and party symbols run deep.

In a recent campaign event held in Sanaur village near here, former Congress leader and current BJP MP Preneet Kaur encountered the complexities of navigating voter perceptions due to change in party symbol. Male attendees at the event expressed support for the BJP, while elderly women reiterated their allegiance to the ‘hath ka panja’ symbol of the Congress.

Speaking at the event, Preneet acknowledged the challenge of disassociating herself from the long-standing symbol of the Congress, which had been deeply ingrained in the local political consciousness. “For years, we have been synonymous with the Congress in this region,” she stated. “Our identity is intertwined with the party symbol, making it difficult for voters, especially in rural areas, to adjust to the new political landscape.”

Highlighting the disparity in awareness between urban and rural populations, she emphasised the need for pro-active efforts to educate voters about the new party symbols. “While urban voters may have a better understanding of the changing political dynamics, rural constituents continue to associate us with the old symbol,” she explained. “It’s imperative that we pro-actively engage with voters, providing clarity and ensuring that they are well informed when casting their votes.”

The challenge of adapting to new party symbols is not limited to Kaur only. Three-time MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, facing a similar predicament, is witnessing his party workers diligently working to project his image alongside the lotus symbol of the BJP.

Bittu said, “The dynamic of Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency is different from the rest of the state with majority of the voters consisting of urban areas and towns. Currently, the canvassing is being done in cities and urban areas of Ludhiana. I have a strong clout in Ludhiana. Here people are somewhat aware about the political situation and that now I am a BJP candidate. We have not started our canvassing in rural areas yet. However, our teams have started working in rural areas.”

Another turncoat, four-time MLA from Talwandi Sabo and former senior vice-president of SAD Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu has been fielded by Congress from Bathinda. He was suspended last year by SAD and so he joined the Congress. While Jeet Mohinder was not available for comments, his son Gurbaz Singh said his father would be in a better position to answer the issue.

As political landscapes evolve and allegiances shift, the ability of politicians to effectively communicate with constituents becomes paramount. The task requires not only clarifying new party affiliations but also fostering trust and understanding among voters, particularly those in rural areas.

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