Polls in sight, Punjab parties woo NRIs

One after the other, several State politicians, be it from the Opposition Congress or the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine, or even top leaders of the newly formed People’s Party of Punjab are touring Canada, the US and UK, which have a sizable NRI population from Punjab.

The state’s NRIs command greater influence in the rural areas, at times decisive, thanks to their significant contribution over decades in uplifting the civic life in rural Punjab through generous dollar contributions. 

Politicians are also urging NRIs to book travel tickets to India in advance for their participation in the 2012 January Assembly elections in the State.

Over the last two months, senior Congress, SAD and PPP leaders have underaken multiple visits to these countries, reaching out to people in public gatherings, Sikh shrines and even making informal home visits. From foreign radio to facebook, twitter and blogs, top leaders are everywhere, trying to win over this crucial vote group settled overseas.

The political fever is picking up in Punjab. Former CM and Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh is busy giving rounds of interviews on Red FM in Canada and the likes of ‘Sher-e-Punjab’, a popular FM Canadian channel and Punjabi Radio with its corporate office in California. The ruling Akali Dal is nowhere looking to give up on NRIs, either. Soon, Akali Dal’s NRI Affairs Minister Balbir Singh Bath will  visit these countries.

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