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HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014

Moga bypoll: Capt plays on fissures in SAD

Surinder Maan, Hindustan Times  Moga, February 18, 2013
First Published: 22:07 IST(18/2/2013) | Last Updated: 13:51 IST(19/2/2013)

State Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh was back in his Badal-bashing element on Monday, though his game had changed to touch play from aggressive.

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By highlighting that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had to go to Akali leaders' homes to motivate them to campaign for Joginder Pal Jain, Amarinder toched smartly on the issue of dissent within the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). "Nowadays, Badals knock at the doors of senior Akali leaders more than they visit the general public," he said. The reference was to former agriculture minister Tota Singh and former director general of police Paramdeep Singh Gill, who had been reluctant to support Jain.

"Tota Singh had declined bluntly to campaign for Jain," said Amarinder. "Badal had to beg him to accompany him to his campaign meetings for the sake of his honour, even if he did not want his workers to support Jain."

His strategy might be to confuse the Akali workers by taking advantage of the fact that Tota Singh and Gill have preferred to remain low-profile and silent during the campaign. Playing up the issue of Badal's reservations about inducting Jain into party and fielding him in the byelection, the state Congress president said Badal would be the happiest man to see Jain lose, for he did not approve of supporting outsiders and turncoats at the cost of old party workers.

"The Badals are fighting a losing battle, for they know that the tide is against them," said the former CM. "Sukhbir dragged his father out of the bed, as he was finding it difficult to manage the Moga byelection campaign alone. The Congress will win, as it did in Aadampur more than a decade ago."

Congress activists Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Jeet Mohinder Sidhu, Ranjit Singh Chhajalwadi, Sangat Singh Giljian, Ashok Kalia, Raman Sood, Jagmohan Singh Kang,Rajinder Beri, OP Soni, Sunil Dutti, Joginder Singh Mann, Karamjit Singh Rintu, Charanjit Kaur Bajwa, Pawan Dewan, Ashok Prashar, Mohan Lal Sood, and Love Kumar Goldy were present.

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