Chandigarh: Though Congress had got a number of star campaigners to mobilize voters and boost the morale of its candidates, contesting in Punjab Vidhan Sabh election 2017, yet the entire election campaign remained Capt Amarinder Singh centric.
Captain Amarinder remained the top level star campaigner who not only addressed election rallies at Patiala and Lambi constituencies but also at 115 other seats also.
Apart from Captain, cricketer-turned-political Navjot Singh Sidhu was the second main crowd-puller for the party who addressed almost 70 election rallies in just 18 days across the state.
The campaign of Punjab elections was strategized by Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC), run by Prashant Kishor, a political strategist. The party also inducted a senior journalist as a media strategist for a wide publicity of the election campaign.
Interestingly, apart from the rallies Sidhu addressed along with Captain or other main campaigners, almost all his rallies and events were either underplayed or ignored by the Punjab Congress thus overlooking him.
Adequate importance was given to all party leader who came from Delhi to campaign for the party candidates contesting election in Punjab.
Just 20 days before Punjab Assembly elections, Sidhu joined the Congress at All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s residents on January 16, 2017. Sidhu later formally joined the party the very next day.
On January 18, Sidhu addressed his first rally in Amritsar after joining Congress while sharing stage with Captain Amarinder Singh, and hit the headlines. Thereafter he addresses nearly 70 rallies but the party hardly did any effort to highlight the events.
In 18 days of his ‘storming campaign’, Sidhu used a chopper and covered almost every district of the state. He even addressed three to four elections rallies daily and gathered wide publicity due to his individual personally and aura.
Party insiders revealed that the Congress had made a good catch of Sidhu who is being taken as a substitute of Capt Amarinder Singh.
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