Chandigarh: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is likely to play a decisive role in forming next the Punjab government. The BSP, going by the party top brass, will be in demand as Punjab is going to see a hung assembly this time. Under such circumstances, main political parties like Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have to seek BSP’s support in forming government.
The party leaders are riding high in Doaba belt, since after the rallies organised by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a new entrant in Punjab politics, failed to draw considerable crowds. The AAP having ‘broom’ as its symbol, according to political pundits, was apprehensive of attacking Dalit community, which other is deadly supporter of the BSP.
AAP National Convener Arvind Kejriwal addressed a number of rallies in Jalalabad, Sangrur, Moga, Barnala, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Ropar, Kapurthala, Pathankot, Bathinda and other parts of Punjab during his tours to the state in November and December.
The purpose of these rallies was to tell people about the “anti-people policies” of the SAD-BJP government and how the Congress had always “cheated” people of the state, a senior AAP leader informed. Apart from this, drug menace, farmers’ suicides and unemployment were also main issues taken by the party to strengthen its feet in Punjab.
Moreover, in an attempt to cause major dent to the BSP, the AAP made a major announcement, offered Deputy Chief Minister’s post to a Dalit leader, on forming government.
Sources in the AAP disclosed that the party has been strategically working hard at the grass root level and asked the party candidates to launch door-to-door visits and personal contact programme to share their grievances apart from seeking possible solutions of their problems.
BSP strategists, however, are of the view that AAP failed to gather crowds in its rallies organised in Dalit-dominated areas in Doaba. This clearly showed the party was rejected by the community, the insiders claimed.
Even the ‘broom’ symbol was not so helpful for the AAP to add to its vote banks in these areas, said a senior functionary of the BSP.
In fact, the BSP has been making all efforts to win all the constituencies where party candidates lost with narrow margins in 2012 Vidhan Sabha elections.
Special focus is being laid on Jalandhar, Nawanshar, Hoshiarpur, Faridkot, Mansa, Mohali, and some other districts. The party is staking its claim on Phillaur seat from where Avtar Singh Karimpuri, former president of Punjab unit of the party, is contesting the elections.
The party banking on Dalit population in Mehal Kalan, Nakodar, Jalandhar Cantonment, Adampur, Kartarpur, Banga, Nawanshahr, Balachaur, Sham Chaurasi, Chabbebal, Garhshankar and some other constituencies, claimed party insiders.
“This time it is going to be a hung assembly and our party will be the balancing factor,” said BSP state general secretary Balwinder Singh adding that the BSP will win 15 to 20 seats.
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