Parties, candidates loosen purse strings

With campaigning for the February 23 Moga bypoll in full swing, candidates as well as their parties are loosening their purse strings to ensure they have the people's attention.

Both SAD and its candidate Joginderpal Jain is leaving no stone unturned. "Our real campaign and expenditure will begin after February 2 when our senior leaders will be here in Moga," said Teerath Singh Mahla, SAD district president. "Both the party as well as Joginderpal Jain are paying for the campaign. He is financially sound and can sponsor his campaign wherever necessary," said a source.

The PPP campaign on the other hand, is reportedly depending upon personal funds of both party chief Manpreet Singh Badal and candidate Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal. "Till now, the party has not contributed as a whole. We are relying on face-to-face interaction with people and holding door-to-door campaigns. Manpreet Badal and I, we both are spending from our pockets," said Dhaliwal.

Sources said during the last Assembly elections, Dhaliwal who used be a public relations officer in Nestle before he decided to contest the elections had to sell his land to arrange for funds. "Dhaliwal sir had to sell his land to arrange funds for campaigning, as our party was very new and lacked funds. But this time, the position is much better," said a PPP worker.

Meanwhile, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has given Rs 15 lakh to party candidate Vijay Sathi for campaigning. The party had given the same amount to all candidates of the 2012 Assembly polls.

Sathi, who used to run a timber shop in Moga, is also ready to spend from his own pockets. "I am capable of spending Rs 16 lakh on my campaign (limit defined by Election Commission) but I am relying on door-to-door interaction, as it is the best and cheapest way to campaign," said Sathi.

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