In the campaign game before the local assembly byelection, state Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday caught both chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal on the wrong foot.
During his canvassing in favour of Vijay Sathi, the former CM reminded the two rival leaders that before Joginder Pal Jain had joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), they had been describing him as an international smuggler who deserved to be in jail and not in the assembly. "What made them change their opinion about him in no time?" asked Amarinder.
Claiming that both Sukhbir and Jain were pure opportunists, Amarinder, in a series of public addresses at Daulatpura Uncha, Daulatpura Neewan, Dhalleke and Maheshwari villages, said that in the 2012 assembly election campaign, when Jain was a Congress candidate, Sukhbir had said frequently in his speeches that Jain was an international smuggler whom he was going to put in the Faridkot jail. "Now he is campaiging for the same international smuggler and trying to send him to the assembly and not jail," Amarinder added.
Having a dig at the deputy CM, he said Sukhbir had scripted a shameful new chapter in the history of political betrayals. "No matter how hard he tries, Jain will never again see the gates of the Punjab assembly," he said. Intimidating political opponents to win them over reflected the intimidating nature of the Deputy CM, said the Congress leaders, regretting that Jain had succumbed to the pressure without caring for the trust that people had posed in him.
"The election will make Jain realise that he committed a political suicide by betraying his own people and joining the enemy," said Amarinder. "Even the Akalis were not happy with his walking into their party, for it's difficult for them to support the man they opposed only a year ago."
Congress candidate Vijay Sathi and party leaders Rana Sodhi, Arvind Khanna, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Harpreet Singh Hero, Darshan Singh Brar, Sukhwinder Danny, and Malti Thapar were present.