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Moga to see multi-cornered contest

Moga, Feb 3, 2013, PTI: 2:08 IST
The Moga bypoll slated for February 23 is all set to witness a multi-cornered contest with key political opponents the ruling SAD and the Congress gearing up to take on each other and Sanjha Morcha’s candidate likely to play a game changer.

After the filing of nomination papers, both by the Congress nominee Vijay Kumar Sathi and SAD-BJP alliance candidate and turncoat Joginderpal Jain on Saturday, the focus of key political parties has shifted to Moga.

All senior leaders of Congress, including Punjab Congress chief Aamrinder Singh, CLP leader Sunil Kumar Jakhar and most of the MLAs, shifted their headquarters at Moga.

Senior SAD-BJP leaders also started arriving here. SAD chief and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and other ministers, including Bikram Singh Majithia and Madan Mohan Mittal will be reaching here on Monday to vigorously campaign for Jain.

After sweeping the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections, Sukhbir had given a call to party rank and file to shift its entire focus to Moga Assembly seat. The contest would be triangular as the third nominee Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal, a candidate of Sanjha Morcha, will be filing his nomination papers tomorrow. However, it looks to be a direct fight between Sathi and Jain, who, after resigning from the Congress, had joined the Shiromani Akali Dal on December 26. This step of Jain necessitated the bypoll.

Twice Congress MLA Jain is now seeking re-election on SAD ticket. The Sanjha Morcha, a conglomerate of Peoples Party of Punjab and Left parties, in the last Assembly polls, polled about 10,000 votes. PPP supremo Manpreet Singh Badal, who had rejected the Congress appeal to withdraw his candidate in favour of the Congress, is prepared to make deep inroads into popular vote banks of both SAD and Congress, political observers said.

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