Toronto: Some 90 Punjabis of Indian-origin from Canada will fly to Punjab to campaign for Aam Admi Party (AAP) in 16 of the state’s largest constituencies for the assembly elections on February 4.
They will arrive in Punjab on January 19. “I want to be a part of real change,” Surinder Mavi, a 31-year-old Brampton resident who helped in organising the plane load of AAP “election volunteers” was quoted as saying by Toronto Star.
Mr Mavi said the Toronto area volunteers were part of a campaign that will see thousands of Indian expatriates arrive in Delhi in Punjab to help AAP in the elections, it reported. Mr Mavi’s political awakening began with his arrival in Canada eight years ago, when he realised bribes were unnecessary and basic rules, like stopping at red lights, were respected.
For the election, Mr Mavi will ride an AAP campaign bus that will rally support in 16 of Punjab’s largest constituencies. He had joined the Canadian branch of AAP, which had burst onto the Indian political scene two years ago with a platform of ending the culture of “bribe-taking,” the daily reported.
The key platform issues in campaign will be AAP’s proposals to fight widespread drug abuse among the youth and programmes to give farmers more money for their crops.
Azad Kaushik, Canadian president of the Overseas Friends of BJP, admitted to “an anti-incumbency factor” in Punjab. But he told the Star over phone from Delhi, where he was visiting, that the BJP’s economic record would keep its coalition with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in power in Punjab.
Mr Kaushik also accused AAP of having “failed miserably” in Delhi, which it governs. “Polls in the last several months have indicated widely different results. But all show the AAP having a significant impact (in Punjab),” it reported.
The Punjab election is likely to witness a three-way fight between SAD-BJP, Congress and AAP in all 117 seats.