MOGA, February 6: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh today said that the People’s Party of Punjab chief Manpreet Badal had announced the party candidate for Moga byelection without talking to the Congress on the issue although earlier, before the announcement of the Moga byelection, he had advocated a united opposition.
Replying to a question on the issue during a press conference here today, Capt Amarinder clarified that he had not spoken to Manpreet on the issue of a common candidate in Moga since Manpreet had already announced to contest the byelection. However, he said, when they had met much before the announcement of the election, Manpreet had advocated the idea of a unified opposition to the extent saying that the unity of the opposition could be announced on Maghi mela.
However, the PCC President pointed out, on the Maghi mela itself Manpreet announced his decision to field the party candidate for the Moga byelection. He also clarified that if he wanted the opposition unity and an understanding with the Congress there was a proper process and procedure.
Asked whether this would help the ruling Akali Dal and whether Manpreet had any subtle understanding with the Akali Dal, Capt Amarinder said, it was for Manpreet to answer such questions. However, he agreed that a common candidate against the Akali Dal would have been in the interest of the people of Punjab as it would have prevented the division of anti-Akali votes and made their (Akalis’) defeat easier.
At the same time, PCC president asserted that the Congress was going to win the seat with a comfortable margin. He said, there was an overwhelming upsurge in support of the Congress that was primarily because people were angry with Joginderpal Jain as they feel betrayed and cheated by him.
Moreover, he said, the people are also not happy with the Akali Dal government which has fallen back on all its promises. Above all, he added, the reign of terror let lose by the criminal brigade led by Bikram Majithia had created a sense of fear among people and they want to teach this government a lesson and Moga byelection presents them with a unique opportunity.