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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Both Cong, SAD facing resistance

Surinder Maan, Hindustan Times  Faridkot, April 11, 2014
First Published: 19:30 IST(11/4/2014) | Last Updated: 23:47 IST(11/4/2014)

Both ruling SAD-BJP candidate Paramjit Kaur Gulshan and Congress nominee Joginder Singh Panjgrain from the parliamentary constituency here have intensified their campaign in all the assembly segments of the constituency, but both are facing resistance in the constituency.

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Gulshan is being confronted by black flags by hundreds of labourers and farmers, who are upset at the non-fulfilment of the promises made to them by the state government, the Congress candidate is facing a challenge from within the party as dissident senior Youth Congress leader Sukhwinder Singh Danny is also set to fight election as an independent candidate.

A day after a successful rally of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal at Dharamkot, Gulshan faced a major revolt during her election campaign at Kokri Kalan village of Moga disrtrict, when hundreds of labourers and farmers came out of their houses and showed black flags to the SAD-BJP candidate on Friday. 

A heavy police force was deployed in the village and the police stopped agitators near the meeting venue. The SAD candidate has also faced a similar situation in Rauke Kalan village under the Nihal Singh Wala reserve assembly constituency, Panjgrain Khurd under Baghapurana and Daulatpura Neewan villages under the Moga assembly segment a few days ago.

Activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) and Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, led by Sukhdev Singh Kokri, general secretary of BKU, raised anti-Gulshan slogans and warned that labourers and farmers would not allow them to hold any public meetings till their genuine demands were accepted.

Angry people also held a parallel meeting near the venue of Gulshan's meeting and accused the state government of duping poor farmers and labourers.

Senior Akali leader and three-time MLA Sheetal Singh has also filed his nomination papers from Faridkot segment as an independent candidate opposing Gulshan.

On the other hand, Congress candidate for the Faridkot parliamentary seat Joginder Singh Panjgrain has been campaigning for the past fifteen days across all the nine assembly constituencies.

However, on Friday, dissident senior Youth Congress leader Sukhwinder Singh Danny also started his campaign from Moga.

Danny, who had contested for the Faridkot seat in 2009, and lost, was denied the ticket this time. So, he has decided to contest as an independent from this reserved constituency.

In 2009, Danny had lost to the SAD-BJP's alliance candidate Paramjit Kaur Gulshan by a margin of 62,042 votes.

Reliable sources revealed that supporters of Danny have not shown interest in the party's official candidate Joginder Singh Panjgrain. Some leaders are also accusing him of not paying attention to grassroots level party workers. Amarjit Singh Bittu, Bijapur block president of Dharamkot, said, "Every worker wants due respect, so senior Congress leaders should pay equal attention to them."

Talking to Hindustan Times, Danny said he was heart-broken after being denied the ticket. "My family members have been working for the Congress for the last 35 years. I had filed papers as an independent to cover the risk of the rejection of Congress candidate Joginder Singh's nomination papers. If it happens, the party high command can consider me as a Congress candidate. My supporters persuaded me to start a campaign in all the nine assembly segments," Danny added.

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