Workers of both the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are facing problems not only because of fissures between the alliance partners, but local SAD leaders are also in for additional embarrassment due to alleged differences between senior SAD leaders MLA Joginder Pal Jain and Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh.
The local SAD leaders on Friday faced an awkward situation during an election meeting in ward number 11 here, from where senior Akali leader Jagdish Chhabra is contesting the election, when two senior SAD leaders exchanged hot arguments over the use of municipal funds.
Witnesses said that Moga SAD MLA Joginder Pal Jain and Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh's son Barjinder Singh Brar, who is also chairman of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, were attending an election meeting in the ward. During his speech, MLA Jain said that when he was the president of the Moga municipal council, he had left `10 crore with the MC and after that the Punjab government sanction and sent `141 crore to the Moga MC as development grant. But the funds were misused by some political people, Jain alleged.
As soon as Jain finished his speech, Barjinder Singh Brar asked him that if anybody has any objection over the use of MC funds, he can seek an independent inquiry, but Jain has no right to speak in public against him.
At the same time, several supporters of both the leaders began to argue against each other and Jain left the venue immediately.
On the other hand, Jagdish Chhabra, the candidate in the ward, said, "I worked with Brar as a councillor in 2008, led by Barjinder Singh Brar. I think Jain has no right to say that Brar had misused the funds. We had done everything possible for the development of Moga. Maximum work was done during our tenure."
Reliable sources revealed that after this, Punjab irrigation minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, who is also party in-charge for the Moga municipal corporation election, reached here and organised two separate meetings with Jain and Brar.
Teerath Singh Mahla, district president of the SAD, said, "Actually MLA Jain had said that some officials of the MC had misused their powers during the past period and there was no issue of misuse of MC's funds. After the visit of Dhillon, both leaders have been satisfied."