The united and impressive show of strength by the local Congress at Jan Chetna Rally here has made the divided Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) cautious before the impending byelection.
In the presence of state party president captain Amarinder Singh, all claimants to the Congress ticket had announced from the stage that they would abide by the high-command choice of candidate. The local Congress workers, disappointed over the fissures developing over the past few months were relieved to see the repair efforts.
The supreme council in the Congress is yet to drop a clue about the candidate, yet the party's workers here are on with the election campaign. After the rally in Moga, the Congress authorities are studying the assembly constituency profile of Moga, a Hindu-dominated seat.
A secret massage had gone out to all contenders, to get on with the campaign in the 42 villages of Baghapurana that have come into the constituency since the last delimitation and where the SAD maintains its stronghold.
"The Congress rally has enthused the party workers, who had come out without notice," said Vijay Sathi, former legislators and one of the ticket contenders. "Our state president, captain Amarinder Singh, and Jagmeet Singh Brar, member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), criticised the state government policies clearly. Over the past few months, they were lying low because of Akali pressure and no support from the party."
Joginder Pal Jain, two-time legislator from Moga, might have defeated former director general of police PS Gill of the SAD in the last assembly election and jathedar Tota Singh in the 2007 contest indeed, and by big margins, but it was no guarantee that the people had won individual votes, said Sukhwinder Singh Dainy, in charge of Fardikot Lok Sabha constituency for the Congress. "He cashed in on the Congress strongholds across the city and in the villages of Moga constituency," he added. "If all senior Congress leaders run a strong election campaign, we can beat Jain easily."
"It doesn't matter which leader will contest," said Sukhjit Singh Kaka Lohgarh. "Important is that local leaders have unity. In the last elections, some prominent party leaders did not back the official candidates." In the last assembly election, Lohgarh was Congress candidate in Dharamkot against jathedar Tota Singh.