Punjab elections: How Parkash Singh Badal’s SAD painted Punjab in its own colours

By: | Published: January 10, 2017 12:09 PM

Blue, which is the trademark colour of Akali Dal, has become a part of numerous government schemes. Apart from blue, saffron and yellow also marks their presence

The Akali Dal in Punjab is making an imprint on government machinery. (PTI)The Akali Dal in Punjab is making an imprint on government machinery. (PTI)

Forget code of conduct, check out what Parkash Singh Badal led Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is up to! And Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come along for the ride. Over the last decade, in its two terms as the ruling party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab is making an imprint on government machinery in such a way that it will last even after the model code of conduct sets in – colour evidently does not breach any code.

Blue, which is the trademark colour of SAD, has become a part of numerous government schemes. Apart from blue, saffron and yellow also marks their presence, as these colours are associated with both SAD and BJP. Government seva kendras which were recently inaugurated have been generously coloured blue and yellow. Also the staff wear uniforms of the same colour.

All the government centres take pride in displaying the slogan of Akali Dal “Raj Nahi Seva”. The hop-on, hop-off government buses that were launched solely for the tourists in Amritsar last month, have been painted blue and yellow. Even the mini-buses launched in rural areas of Punjab were painted with these colours.

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Tajinder Pal Singh Sandhu, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Amritsar in a statement to The Indian Express told, “There are no instructions for colour. There should not be election symbols or slogans by any party.” On being asked about the tagline ‘Raj Nahi Seva’ printed on the Seva Kendra buildings, the ADC added, “Again it is not a party symbol. There shouldn’t be any specific message asking people to vote for a particular party.”

This isn’t it, as there are many more examples of SAD’s colourful signature statements. The government ration cards which are distributed to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families are termed “blue cards” carrying an image of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Food Minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon.

The health insurance scheme ‘Sehat Bima Yojna’ card which is designed like an ATM card, is also coloured blue and saffron with Raj Nahi Seva written on it. The bicycles that are distributed to girl students in government schools are adorned by a mix of saffron and blue.

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The Akali Dal has marked its influence in rural Punjab too. Almost all the villages adorn a board which has information on development works done in Punjab. These information boards are also painted blue carrying picture of CM Parkash Singh Badal and the party slogan ‘Raj Nahi Sewa’.

The RO systems installed are also coloured blue with the same slogan written on it. The cement benches in localities and parks have also been painted either blue and yellow or saffron. Also painted in blue are the free sports kits distributed to several village sports clubs.

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