As SAD-BJP candidate Joginder Pal Jain campaigns for the Moga by-election, one question he has to face is why did he leave the Congress on whose ticket he was elected during the last assembly elections.
In almost all villages Jain is visiting, the former Congress MLA is facing a volley of questions both from Akali and Congress supporters. They are questioning him on the rationale behind deserting the Congress and joining SAD.
Jain has said that he joined the Akali Dal for Moga's development, but it has failed to cut ice with the voters, so these days Jain insists that senior SAD leaders accompany him and answer the question.
Jain claimed that development in the area had been stalled as when the Congress came to power in 2002, people elected SAD candidate Tota Singh, and recently people elected the Congress candidate when the SAD government came to power. "So I took the big decision for the development of the area and am assuring the voters that if I win again I would ensure development in the area," Jain said.
Interestingly, Jain has succeeded in getting support of some of his old mates. At Dhalle Ke village, where the Congress has a stronghold, Jain organised a meeting where sarpanch Harbans Singh Dhalle Ke and Youth Congress leader Prabhjeet Singh Kala along with their supporters announced support to the SAD candidate.
Sources said another block Congress president is ready to join SAD in the presence of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leaders, including Jagmeet Singh Brar, have started campaigning for Congress candidate Vijay Sathi by touring villages. "We are united and in the next few days hope to get support from some Akali groups," said Brar.
State Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh said he would stay at Bir Charik village in the constituency during the entire election process. "The Congress will give a tough fight to the SAD-BJP candidate. We will not spare any official who provides hidden support to the Akalis.
The party has set up a special committee to keep a watch on illegal activities of the ruling party and it will decide on sending complaints of violation of the code of conduct to the Election Commission," said Amarinder.
Tara Singh Sandhu, former president of the District Congress Committee, said the Congress had constituted committees for 96 rural and 92 urban polling stations.
Police review arrangements
Ferozepur range commissioner Raminder Singh and DIG Pramod Ban organised a special meeting with district officials on Thursday for reviewing the arrangements for the by-election. The officers said in case an official was found guilty of not obeying the rules of the EC, action would follow.
Deputy commissioner cum district election officer Arshdeep Singh Thind said 16 supervisors had been appointed for 188 polling booths. "More than 5,000 arms have been deposited at various police stations so far. We had received 19 complaints regarding elections," the DC said.