Moga MLA Joginder Pal Jain on Saturday said that he will not be contesting 2017 polls due to health issues. Jain, who had resigned from Congress a few months after the 2012 polls, won Moga seat in a by-poll defeating Vijay Sathi of Congress on a SAD ticket. However, he was not known to be on good terms with Agriculture Minister Tota Singh. Tota had opposed his entry into the Akali Dal but gave in to deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, according to reports.
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Speaking to The Sunday Express, Jain confirmed that he informed party president Sukhbir Badal about the matter.
“I suffered paralysis and have not kept well since. I have clarified this to deputy CM that I will continue to work for the party,” said Jain. Insiders in the party said Jain was not happy with “factionalism” among workers and “people from within the party working against him”.
The door may now open for Tota Singh’s son Barjinder Singh from the constituency. The SAD had earlier confirmed Tota Singh’s candidature from Dharamkot, where he is the MLA.
While Tota Singh said that he was unaware of who was going to get Moga ticket, Barjinder Brar hinted at his candidature. “Anything can happen. I won’t deny being one of the contenders,” he said.
However, one Jain supporters rubbished the move. “How can one family be given two tickets and that too in same district. It is going to be an unwise move if both are given tickets in same district,” he said.
Meanwhile, attending a wedding in Moga on Saturday, Sukhbir Badal said party’s next list will be out in a few days. He also added that SAD’s rally in Moga on SYL issue on December 8 would be a huge success. He was accompanied by Moga MLA Jain, Dharamkot MLA Tota Singh and education minister Daljeet Singh Cheema. Baghapurana MLA Maheshinder Singh and Nihal Singh Wala MLA Rajwinder Kaur did not turn up to meet Sukhbir. Tota Singh even said that ‘like Rajwinder Kaur, Baghapurana MLA Maheshinder Singh may also be dropped this time.’
“Based on our surveys, he might not get ticket again. Let’s see,” said Tota Singh. SAD is yet to announce ticket for Baghapurana and Moga constituencies.