With four days to go for the Moga bypoll, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday targeted state Congress chief Amarinder Singh saying he was "ably" doing to the party in Punjab "what Siddhartha Shankar Ray had done to it in West Bengal".
"SS Ray was made chief minister of West Bengal in 1972, till 1977. After his tenure, Congress never won an election in that state, and it is already 36 years that they have been out of power with no signs of return in sight," the deputy chief minister said.
"Captain sahib (Amarinder) is the SS Ray of Punjab Congress," Sukhbir said at an election rally for Joginderpal Jain, the party candidate for the bypoll.
"Congress is already set to be out of contention for ten years in the state and, after Moga, it will completely disappear from the state," he said.
Sukhbir said barring the "fluke" in 2002, "Amarinder Singh is known to have brought defeat to any organisation that he has been associated with, including even the SAD (Longowal) when his party managed to win only two seats and he himself lost from Kharar".
"It goes to the credit of Captain Amarinder that, for the first time in the history of the state, sitting legislators are preferring to resign and contest again than be a part of an organisation which is refusing to mix with the people," he alleged.
Jain resigned as a Congress MLA to join the SAD and his former party has urged the Moga electorate to teach the "turncoat" a lesson in the February 23 bypoll.
"The Moga by-election is an outcome of the Captain's refusal to allow his legislators to bring the benefits of development in the state to the people because he tells them not to avail themselves of the government's various welfare schemes," Sukhbir alleged.
The SAD president dismissed the Congress campaign for the bypoll as lacking any focus.
"They are on the run everywhere and they know it. Their campaign is totally disjointed. No Congress member is seriously interested in this and most privately admit that it is just a waste of time and energy as the party's heavy defeat is a foregone conclusion.
"Most party men are just waiting for February 21 (when the poll campaign ends) so that they can pack their bags and go home... the Moga bypoll result will see them falling into the sea of extinction. And that will be the last chapter in the Congress story in Punjab," Sukhbir claimed.
He said the SAD-BJP combine was going to the people with a purposeful agenda of development, peace and communal harmony.
"People are seeing the work we are doing and for the past six years, we have never lost an election. This, by itself, is proof that people want development and good governance. We are clear about our positive priorities while the Congress is feeling totally lost and confused," he said.