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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Moga bypoll: Cong takes lead in campaigning

Surinder Maan, Hindustan Times  Moga, February 08, 2013
First Published: 21:15 IST(8/2/2013) | Last Updated: 21:16 IST(8/2/2013)

The Congress campaign for the Moga bypoll has received a shot in the arm as state Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh continues to stay put in the town for the past one week as  campaigning has started gradually picking up.

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When on January 9, Amarinder announced at a rally that he would stay put in Moga for the entire campaign period, not many believed it, more so the ruling SAD. But true to his word, he has been there since the day Vijay Sathi filed his nomination papers and says he will be there till the last minute of campaigning on February 21 when outsiders would need to leave the constituency.

While the entire Congress leadership, including Amarinder and Congress Working Committee member Jagmeet Singh Brar, has descended on Moga, senior Akali leaders, including chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, are yet to arrive leading to concern among the supporters of the party candidate Joginder Pal Jain, who is campaigning on his own.

While all senior leaders accompanied Sathi to file his nomination papers, Jain did it of his own. Except for former agriculture minister Tota Singh, no senior party leader accompanied him to file his papers.

The state Congress president is camping at Charik village, and with him the entire rank and file is staying here. Party sources said Amarinder did not reveal his party programme in advance as the element of surprise kept everybody active and alert in their respective areas.

Otherwise, sources said, most of the leaders made formal appearances only whenever Amarinder was around.

Party insiders admit that Amarinder's being around has provided the much needed energy and momentum to the party's campaign. This has actually led to the Congress presence being felt more in the constituency than that of the ruling SAD, which is battling the differences within.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal seems to have a tough job ahead as the Congress has taken a lead in the campaigning.

SAD spokesman Prem Singh Chandumajra said CM Parkash Singh Badal would reach Moga on February 10 while Sukhbir Singh Badal would start his campaign on February 11l. "However, we all are camping at Moga and know well how an election campaign is run. We will win the seat," he added.

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