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Candidates opt for early morning campaigns

With three days to go for Assembly Elections 2017, voters these days are waking up to early morning election campaign of candidates, who are not only using the traditional means but also pitching in their family members and friends to make the maximum impact. Candidates from all political parties–SAD-BJP alliance, Congress, Aam Admi Party (AAP) and the BSP, a sea of campaign measures can be witnessed in all the nine constituencies of Jalandhar.

From holding political rallies, to holding roadside meetings, to using the traditional means of loudspeakers for campaigning and the new age social media campaign, the candidates are leaving no stone unturned to grab attention of the voters. So, from early morning, traditional loud beats of dhols are greeting the voters in door-to-door campaign of candidates while auto rickshaws and special vans decorated with candidate’s name and party symbol ferries in the constituencies seeking voters support. Congress and BJP candidates are seen spending their day wisely in campaigning as their names were released in the second week of January, hence giving less time for extensive campaigning. In Adampur reserved seat, SAD’s Dalit face and two-time MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu is not only meeting voters through door-to-door campaign but also addressing meetings. Tinu, who was contesting from Adampur for third time in a row was cashing in on the 10 year SAD-BJP rule and development projects started by him in the constituency. “Social media campaign is fine but I prefer to meet voters in person. I have already covered almost all the villages and left with merely five or six of them. These days, I begin my campaigning at 7.30 am and continue till late at night,” he said.

The two time MLA also said that he was glad that people were responding to the development works done by him. “I started two Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) while domestic airport was coming up in Adampur, which would provide employment. I also upgraded sugar mill in Bhogpur while maximum number of water tanks also came up in my constituency,” he said.

Senior congress leader Avtar Singh Henry’s son Bawa Henry, who was a greenhorn, was riding high on his the works done by his father. “My campaign was getting a boost through maximum public participation. Voters were fed up by the SAD-BJP rule and I have been meeting people throughout the day and addressing small gatherings,” he said. This time following the strict vigilance of flying squads and static teams of election officials, there was less defacement of public property. Even the candidates were wary of exceeding expenditure limits and resorting to collective party campaigns only. A case in point was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Jalandhar, where BJP workers distributed saffron and green coloured umbrellas bearing party logo- ‘Kamal’. Besides BJP caps, party workers and supporters were seen wearing Modi masks.

Similarly, Jalandhar Cantonment candidate Olympian Pargat Singh apart from reaching out to the voters himself has roped in his wife, daughter and relatives to cover the constituency. His family was also actively involved in sharing the day’s campaign on social media, seeking voters support. Recently, AAP candidate from Jalandhar Central Dr Sanjeev Sharma also held a unique ‘Jaago’, where he held his campaign and sought voters support. Meanwhile, AAP has also roped in folk singers to woo the voters in all the constituencies. On the other hand, BSP candidate Balwinder Kumar from Kartarpur reserve seat was also spending maximum time meeting the voters while his supporters were holding parallel campaign in other parts of the constituency. “The countdown has begun. We are running parallel campaigns on all fronts at this moment and leaving nothing to chance,” he quipped.

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