Campaign ends in poll-bound Punjab and Goa

Aparna Parekh

 

Congress-rally-Punjab-large-1

Campaigning in the poll bound states of Punjab and Goa has ended. Both states will hold elections on February 4.

The Election Commission has already issued detailed guidelines to to ensure prohibition 48 hours before the end of the assembly polls in the state. EC has also imposed a complete ban on broadcasting election related material.

Multiple rallies by politicians across all parties were held in both the states. Several heavyweights too campaigned on the last day.

A total of 117 constituencies in Punjab and 40 constituencies in Goa are set to poll on Saturday.

Punjab is set to witness a multi-cornered contest on all Assembly seats. While the Congress is fighting alone from 117 seats, ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and its ally BJP will contest from 94 and 23 seats respectively. The new entrant in Punjab – AAP has fielded candidates in 110 seats and its ally Lok Insaaf Party has fielded candidates from 7 seats.

Rahul campaigning in Ballian in Punjab 1

In Punjab, campaign was on in full swing on the final day.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi held multiple rallies where he along with the party’s chief ministerial candidate Amarinder Singh targeted Kejriwal.

Taking a veiled dig at the ruling Akalis and the AAP, Rahul said, “from one extremist thinking, Punjab should not go to other extremist thinking. Congress is one such party which takes all sections along. We want that Punjab should rapidly progress…But if violence breaks, anger prevails, then everything will be destroyed. We have to understand that those forces, which destroyed Punjab earlier (referring to militancy period in the state), because of whom violence broke, such forces are yet again raising their head,” Gandhi said.

In Ballian, Gandhi also shared a traditional meal with commoners and party leaders at the ‘Sanjha Chulha’ (common kitchen) put up by the villagers.

Budhlada : Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal addressing an election rally at Grain Market Budhlada on Feb 1, 2017. PTI Photo

Budhlada : Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal addressing an election rally at Grain Market Budhlada on Feb 1, 2017. PTI Photo

On the other hand, Punjab’s five-time CM Parkash Singh Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal, took ill but refused to halt to his campaign.

The 89-year-old leader went ahead with his scheduled rallies despite doctor’s warning.

Cruz:  Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar addresses BJP workers in Cruz, Goa on Jan 29, 2017. PTI Photo

Cruz: Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar addresses BJP workers in Cruz, Goa on Jan 29, 2017. PTI Photo

Goa Assembly polls are likely to be a three-pronged fight with the ruling BJP, opposition Congress and new entrant AAP pitted against each other.

While Manohar Parrikar-led BJP had won in 2012 elections in alliance with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, this time it has been abandoned by its political friends who have now ganged up against it.

Congress has fielded 37 candidates and is supporting Goa Forward in a few constituencies. BJP is contesting on 36 seats and has extended support to Independents in 4 constituencies.

AAP is contesting from 39 seats. Shiv Sena is contesting the election in alliance with rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar led Goa Suraksha Manch and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.