Congress Working Committee member and former member of Parliament Jagmeet Singh Brar on Friday said Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had committed the biggest blunder of his political career by first inducting Congress MLA Joginder Pal Jain into the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and then fielding him as the party candidate for the Moga byelection.
Addressing a press conference here, Brar lambasted Badal for making Jain switch over from the Congress to the SAD. He said it was the only case of its kind in the country where a political party not only pressurised and lured a sitting MLA to defect but also fielded him as the byelection candidate.
"This was not expected from Badal, who claims to be the political grandmaster of Punjab. The February 23 byelection would also teach a lesson to Jain, who betrayed the trust of the people of Moga by crossing over for his vested interests," the Congress leader said.
Brar also made it clear that the Congress was fighting the Moga byelection under the leadership of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Capt Amarinder Singh. "The Congress will contest this poll as a cohesive unit under Amarinder's direct command. He will decide the strategy, methodology and the issues to be raised during the run-up to the byelection," said Brar in response to a question whether the Congress was a house divided.
Asserting that party candidate Vijay Sathi was certain to win from Moga, he said people of the constituency had traditionally been Congress supporters.
Brar also dispelled the impression being created about Punjab deputy chief minister and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal's management and planning skills, particularly in the wake of the SAD's landslide victory in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections.
He said Sukhbir was not a master of election management, but of corrupt practices. He claimed that Sukhbir had only known the art of corrupt practices, which he was trying to repeat everywhere, but would fail to do in Moga.