As EC announces Moga bypoll date, SAD bets on ‘turncoat’ Jain
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As per the ECI, the notification for the bypoll will be issued on January 30 and the last date for making nominations is February 6 and after scrutiny the next day, the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is February 9. Counting will take place on February 28.
SAD president, while welcoming Jain to partyfold, had announced him as the party's candidate for the by-elections to the Moga seat.
However, supporters of former director general of police PS Gill, who had lost to Jain in the Assembly elections, had been opposing the induction of Jain in the party. In fact, senior Akali leader Ranwinder Singh Pappu and former president of Moga municipal council, Kuldeep Singh Gill, even warned the party leadership to reconsider its decision. Another senior party leader and Dharamkot MLA Tota Singh too was not happy with Jain's induction in SAD, as he was eyeing the seat for his son.
Jain will be the Hindu face of the Akali Dal in the Malwa region if he wins the by-election. Moga was the only seat Congress had won in the area with all the neighbouring seats, including Jagraon, Faridkot, Dharamkot, Bhagapurana and Nihalsinghwala, going to Akalis in the last year's Assembly elections.
Chief Minister and SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir on Friday claimed that the ruling alliance will win the seat "by a margin, which will not only be stunning in its magnitude but will also set off a process of eventual decimation of the Congress party from the political map".
With the SAD already announcing Jain as its candidate, hectic lobbying has started in the Congress for the party ticket. Among others whose names are doing the rounds are former MLA and senior leader Darshan Singh Brar, Punjab Mahila Congress president Malti Thapar, former MLA Vijay Kumar Sathi, and Moga district Congress committee president Jagdarshan Kaur.
While Thapar and Sathi have represented the Moga Assembly segment earlier, Brar, sources said enjoys an edge. Brar, had earlier remained legislator from the nearby constituencies of Jagraon and Bhagapurana, and lost the 2012 assembly polls to SAD's Maheshinder Singh by over 10,000 votes.
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