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Punjab Polls: BJP Falls Back on Trusty 'Modi Model' to Offset CM Face Advantage for Congress and AAP

By: Swati Bhan

News18.com

Last Updated: February 12, 2022, 09:53 IST

Chandigarh

Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma is contesting the February 20 polls from the Pathankot assembly constituency. Pic/News18

Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma is contesting the February 20 polls from the Pathankot assembly constituency. Pic/News18

Speaking exclusively to News 18.com, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma said PM Modi’s track record is being accepted by the people of the state.

Sensing that the announcement of the chief ministerial candidates by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress could give them an advantage, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is pitching the governance model of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a counter during its campaign to the February 20 assembly polls in Punjab. The votes will be counted on March 10.

Having parted ways with the Shiromani Akali Dal, the BJP is contesting the polls in alliance with ousted Congress chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress and SAD (Dhindsa).

Speaking exclusively to News 18.com, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma who is contesting from the Pathankot assembly constituency said PM Modi’s track record is being accepted by the people of the state. “PM Modi’s seven and a half years of rule at the Centre is our strong pitch. The people of Punjab are tired of the failed governance models provided by the earlier government. They have seen the PM Modi model of governance and they know he has made positive changes across the country and now is the time for Punjab to benefit from his effective governance,” said Sharma.

Sharma denied that the controversial farm laws and their subsequent repeal had impacted the BJP’s prospects irrevocably for the assembly polls. “To the contrary, people have been touched by his emotional appeal that said ‘kanoon kisan ke hit mein laye aur desh ke hit mein wapas le rahe hain (the laws were brought in farmers’ interest and are being withdrawn in the nation’s interest)’. The people realise he has the farmers’ interest high on his mind,” claimed Sharma.

Targeting the state’s Congress government, Sharma said that issues like drugs, corruption and farmers’ suicides have been confronting Punjab and the party was focussed more on its internal fights. “The common people sense that these issues have not been resolved. They need an alternative. The Congress track record has been disastrous,” he alleged.

Sharma trashed opinion polls indicating an AAP advantage. “AAP is a party that has tried to damage the secular fabric of the state. Last time we saw its leader taking the support of those people who had bled the state. The people have sensed that the Hindu-Sikh amity will be in danger with them at the helm,” alleged the BJP Punjab chief.

When asked whether the BJP alliance would also declare a chief ministerial face, Sharma ruled it out. “In states where we are not in power, we don’t declare a CM face. We are working in alliance with other NDA partners and will only do the needful once the polls are over in consultation with our alliance partners,” said Sharma.

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first published:February 11, 2022, 17:05 IST
last updated:February 12, 2022, 09:53 IST