With just three days left for the polling day, the Congress on Saturday accused Akali Dal candidate Bhagwan Dass Juneja of a land-grabbing scheme involving an ancient Shiv temple in the city.
"Juneja is wearing the mask of social service to hide his shady background which is blemished with allegations of grabbing a temple land," remarked Congress leaders while addressing a press conference on Monday.
Senior party leader and former finance minister Surinder Singla, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi and the Schedule Caste Commission deputy chairman Dr Raj Kumar Verka (both MLAs) disclosed that Juneja was accused by the Prachin Shiv Mandir, Shivala Gujratian Prabandhak Committee of having attempted to usurp their land.
"This was being done with the patronage of the state government," said Singla and remarked, "The fact that Juneja was given a ticket by the Akali Dal proves that the government was patronising the land grabbers."
The Congress leaders questioned the silence of the Bhartiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena on the issue as they had staged protests in 2010. "It is surprising that the BJP and Shiv Sena have chose not to speak now for the reasons best known to them."
When contacted, Juneja denied the charges and said that it was malicious campgain against him by the Congress. "I am open for any inquiry," he said adding that he had himself donated lakhs of rupees to religious establishments.