Visits by political delegations to woo the Punjabi Diaspora settled abroad have begun, which gave a clear indication of all the major political parties in Punjab getting into the poll mode for 2017 assembly elections.
With a hope that the NRIs will do for them what they did for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is now planning to send its senior leaders abroad to woo the Punjabi NRIs.
The party is planning a trip to those pockets in the US, Canada and Europe where Punjabis are politically active and are keen to get involved in state politics. Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh, his wife Preneet Kaur, an MLA from Patiala, and a host of state leaders will soon fan out to different parts of the globe to connect with the Punjabi community living abroad.
Internal rift between AAP in Punjab has shown hope to the Congress leaders, who not missing a chance stated, “Internal rift between AAP and the party’s sagginess in Punjab have disappointed the NRIs. It is the right time to strike to win them over as many of them are still upset with the ruling SAD-BJP government”, said one of the senior leaders of Congress. “NRIs can also help with funds and that would cut AAP’s financial lifeline”, he further added.
It is no more a secret that the success of AAP in 2014 general elections in Punjab was due to liberal donation of funds by NRIs and their being captivated with promise of clean and educated leadership offered by the AAP. At that time, non-resident Indians showed a marked preference for the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party.
In today’s high-tech world, the NRIs play a major role in elections, as they get involved in politics of their respective home states, through micro blogging sites and media, i.e. local new channels. It is therefore no wonder that political leaders from all parties feel the need to get in touch with the NRIs living abroad, if not on party forum than on individual basis.
Congress is leaving no stone unturned, as firstly it had hired political strategist Prashant Kishore to frame the party’s political strategy for the upcoming polls, as he was the key person behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Victory. Secondly, its top leaders are flying overseas to woo the Punjabi NRIs, as it has realized the role played by NRIs in AAP getting a big vote percentage in Punjab earlier.