Chandigarh, May 5: The state Congress leadership has ruled out replacing its Shahkot candidate Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowali. Hours after the party candidate was booked for his alleged involvement in illegal mining, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Sunil Jakhar on Friday ruled out changing the party candidate in the byelection.
Amidst opposition from other contenders for the seat, Laddi’s name was cleared only yesterday after hectic parleys among the top party leaders.Terming registration of the FIR as a political mischief, Jakhar said there was no chance of replacing the candidate on the basis of a complaint that was still to be verified.
On being asked as to how the case was registered against the candidate of the ruling party, he said it clearly indicated that the Congress government believed in fair play.“This negates the allegation of the Akalis and Aam Aadmi Party that the Congress was interfering in the case. It is the Akalis who cannot wash of the sand mining taint,” he said.
Terming it a self-goal, a section of the party MLAs feel that there is more than what meets the eye. Not accepting the claim of the senior leadership that the FIR was registered without their knowledge, they said the move would directly benefit the Akalis.
They see it as fallout of the internal strife within the party to embarrass the loyalist of Rana Gurjit Singh, former Power and Irrigation Minister. Rana excused himself on the issue by saying he is in hospital.
Questioning the registration of FIR without verification, a senior party leader said, “How can a case be registered without the knowledge of senior police and civil officers?”
Source Tribune India