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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Moga bypoll: former socialist leader back in prominence

Surinder Maan  Moga, February 17, 2013
First Published: 09:16 IST(17/2/2013) | Last Updated: 09:26 IST(17/2/2013)

The Moga by-election has once again brought into prominence the family of late Roop Lal Sathi, the Janata Party leader in Malwa region who was known as a firebrand leader used to making sarcastic remarks against politicians for their wrongdoings.

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As the Congress has fielded Vijay Sathi, the advocate son of late Sathi, a large number of senior Sathi's supporters from across Punjab have descended on Moga to lend their support to ensure that the son of their leader of 1990s emerges victorious in the election he is contesting against the ruling party candidate Joginder Pal Jain.

Besides the Congress leadership, Sathi is getting support from the old pals of his late father.

But Joginder Pal Jain, who switched from the Congress to SAD, is facing the opposition from a few SAD and BJP leaders.

The stature and the gentle behaviour of Sathi has become the talk of Moga. His way of campaigning with a tight schedule from early morning to late night is drawing the attention of the people. A lot of voters here remember his father, who was twice elected the MLA form Moga assembly constituency as the Janata Party candidate for two times.

Old timers have joined Sathi's election campaign seriously. Sathi's son Sham Mohan and daughter Vasudha have also jumped the bandwagon and are campaigning in the wards of the town and villages of the constituency.

In the last two weeks, the Punjab Congress president and former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh has been busy seeking votes for Sathi. He is going door-to-door as well as addressing public meetings in villages.

Congress Working Committee member Jagmeet Singh Brar and Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar have also started a silent campaign in Moga town. Both leaders are meeting prominent personalities, especially the youth voters.

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and many other senior Akali leaders are campaigning for Jain, but sources said several groups of the SAD and BJP were not happy with Jain.

Unhappy with Jain's style of working, some time back, a few Congress leaders and workers had joined SAD, but now as Jain is back in SAD, they are feeling suffocated. Sources say some of these disgruntled leaders in Akali Dal are waiting for a formal nod from the Congress to rejoin the party.

A total of 1,78,320 voters - 94,098 males and 84,222 females -- will cast their votes at 188 polling booths on February 23.

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