Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Thursday that the Congress was in a “self-destruct” mode as it was the only political outfit whose leaders actively worked to ensure the defeat of their own candidates.
Badal concluded his campaign for the Moga assembly byelection on a high note with thousands of enthusiasts scaling walls, occupying precarious positions on parapets and roofs and surrounding trees to catch a glimpse of the chief minister and to listen to him. The scenes were reminiscent of the atmosphere of the Moga rally of 1995 and of the Akali wave in 1997.
Looking completely relaxed, the chief minister spiced up his speeches with rustic anecdotal humour for which he is famous; pulling out sarcasm and satire from his repertoire almost at will. But suddenly turning serious, he referred to what he described as “internal street fights within the Congress” and said “various leaders of the Congress are known to be working overnight to ensure the defeat of their party candidate to weaken each other in the eyes of their high command”.
Badal also reiterated his charge that state Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh had issued a diktat to his MLAs not to go the chief minister, deputy chief minister and other ministers and even to officers of the government for people's works.
The chief minister said the SAD-BJP alliance is seeking “a mandate on the issue of development and this has gone straight to the hearts and minds of the electorate”.
Moga, he said, represents a unique case in the history of Punjab because a sitting MLA resigned from the Congress because the state Congress leadership was not allowing him to make use of the development schemes of the government.