Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) member Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli Majithia has contested the recent claim of revenue and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia regarding the defection of 250 Congress families to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
The revenue minister had made this claim on April 14 by issuing a statement to the media. Among the 250 families was the name of Gurmeet Singh Raju, a former chairman of the Tarsika Block Samiti, who, Lalli claimed was already in the SAD. Contesting the claim before the media here on Friday, Lalli said, “Majithia has acquired the expertise of engineering political fake encounters. He seems to excel in staging such encounters in one village after another.”
Lalli had contested the last assembly elections against Majithia as an independent after the Congress denied him the ticket. In 2007, he had contested on a Congress ticket against Majithia. He had lost on both occasions, though he did garner more votes than the Congress candidate in the last polls.
Lalli claimed that people who Majithia claimed had joined the SAD, were actually Akali supporters. He said Majithia had adopted such tactics earlier as well.
“Its a very simple ploy - use threats to bring Congress workers on the side of the SAD and then hold a function. If the numbers are few, then position a large number of Akalis in the crowd at the function and then put a saffron cloth (siropa) around each one's neck and claim that 250 Congress families have joined the Akalis,” claimed Lalli, while advising his rival to bring about a change in this tactic as it had gone old and stale.
Lalli claimed Raju was already in the SAD. “In the 2007 assembly polls, Raju had opposed me and supported Majithia amd in 2012 again, he supported the Akalis,” Lalli said.
According to Lalli, Raju was a member of the Congress in 2002 when he was made the chairman of the Tarsika Block Samiti. Thereafter he left the Congress to render support to Majithia and since then he has been with the Akalis, he said.