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Capt sets Saturday deadline for rebels

Withdraw from contest or face expulsion, warns Amarinder; Khanna rebel Bhalinder shown the door. Anshu Seth reports.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2012 00:12 IST
Anshu Seth
Capt-Amarinder-Singh
Capt-Amarinder-Singh

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday warned Congress rebels to fall in line by Saturday or face expulsion.

Addressing an election rally at Khanna in Ludhiana district, Amarinder said: “The party has decided to do away with traitors if they fail to act in accordance with the decisions taken by party president Sonia Gandhi.”

Taking a jibe at the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and People’s Party of Punjab (PPP), the PPCC president said the two parties had a “secret understanding” and were working in tandem to facilitate the victory of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal from Lambi and Gidderbaha, respectively in the January 30 assembly polls.

He drew laughter for his remark on the “jor-tor” (break and make) politics of Parkash Singh Badal and his brother and PPP leader Gurdas Badal.

Gurdas will soon “feign some illness” and get hospitalised and leave the field open in Lambi for his brother, to acknowledge the “favour done to him in Gidderbaha” where the Akali candidate is a Congress rebel, he said.

“But Badals will not succeed in their manipulation, and face defeat from Lambi and Gidderbaha,” Amarinder said. “People have already seen through their tacit understanding.”

Referring to SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s promise to start metro rails in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amaritsar, the former chief minister said, “Do you think that people don’t know that the bullet trains you (Sukhbir) are showing in advertisements are not from Punjab but from Japan, and the skyscrapers are from Manhattan?”

In the evening, the state Congress chief addressed rallies in Jagraon and Raikot constituencies of Ludhiana, appealing to people to support party candidates Isher Singh Meharban in Jagraon and Gurcharan Singh in Raikot

He said once Congress comes to power, 100% crops of farmers would be insured. Besides, the poor would get atta for one rupee per kg as part of the National Food Security Act, he reiterated.

He concluded the day by a rally in favour of Ashok Prashar, the Congress candidate from Ludhiana South, and Gurmail Singh Pehalwan from Ludhiana East constituency.

Khanna rebel expelled from party

Chandigarh: PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday expelled Bhalinder Singh who was contesting as an independent from Khanna against party nominee Gurkirat Singh Kotli.

The PPCC president has set Saturday morning as the deadline for all Congress rebels in the fray to announce that they would bow out of the electoral contest. He said the party waited for the rebels to “retire even after the last date of the nominations” on January 16. “While some of them retired, those who refuse to do so will be expelled tomorrow (Saturday),” he said.

Rahul in Punjab on January 25, 27

Jalandhar:Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi would address rallies in Punjab on January 25 and 27. Though his itinerary was being finalised, he is likely to campaign in Patiala, Ferozepur and Fatehgarh Sahib districts as well as in the Gidderbaha assembly segment, party sources said.