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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Golf Club brawl: Questions on Randeep's absence from Moga

Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times  Patiala, February 18, 2013
First Published: 23:52 IST(18/2/2013) | Last Updated: 23:53 IST(18/2/2013)

He faces arrest after a brawl with an opposing team at the Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) on Saturday, but Congress MLA Kaka Randeep Singh Nabha is also facing the heat now over the very fact that he was in Chandigarh, enjoying a round of golf when the party is locked in a tough battle in Moga for the February 23 assembly bypoll.

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Randeep, who is the legislator from Amloh, was in a team with former athletics star Milkha Singh, former Punjab chief secretary RS Mann and former CGC captain SS Lahal when they allegedly entered into a confrontation with another group comprising Lt Col Vijay Singh Sandhu (retd), Harmanjit Sethi and Ajay Kanwar. Both the groups later lodged complaints to the police against each other.

Within the Congress, it's now being underlined that Randeep -- who was made in-charge of booths 21 to 23 in Chandeana village that have nearly 4,000 votes -- is missing from the scene in Moga, where the entire leadership of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) is working hard to defeat the ruling SAD that poached sitting Congress MLA Joginder Pal Jain and has now made him its candidate.

Sources said that Congress leaders at Moga took up the matter with PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh, and asked him to issue a notice to Randeep for failing to take up the campaign task. Some Congress leaders even said that since he is a relative of Youth Akali Dal patron and Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who is camping in Moga, Randeep is skipping the campaign.

However, some leaders said he might escape the heat since Randeep has a strong hold in Nabha - his earlier segment that he had to leave this time as it was reserved for the SC category. Nabha is in the Patiala Lok Sabha segment, which is represented by Amarinder's wife and minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur.

Ironically, Randeep was amongst the leaders who launched a campaign for removal of Amarinder as PPCC president last year after the assembly election defeat.

Randeep's phone has been switched off since the registration of the FIR.

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