The BJP candidate for the Gurdaspur bypoll, Swaran Salaria, on Friday said the Congress was indulging in “character assassination” by alleging that he concealed information about a rape case filed against him in Mumbai. The Punjab Congress had on Thursday urged the Election Commission to cancel Salaria’s candidature alleging he had failed to inform the poll body about the case.
Responding to a query about a purported photo of him in the company of a woman which has gone viral on social media, Salaria said he had no links to it. “If there were such a photograph, then the woman, who had filed the complaint in 2014, would have given it to police. They probed the matter thoroughly and the complaint was found to be false,” he said.
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal had alleged Salaria had submitted to the EC that no criminal case had been pending against him.
The BJP leader said he would “quit politics if Badal proved the charge” against him. Salaria is locked in a triangular contest with Sunil Jakhar of the Congress and Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria of the AAP.
He alleged the Congress was trying to divert attention as it had failed to fulfil pre-poll promises of a farm loan waiver, Rs 2,500 per month unemployment allowance and smart phones to the youth.
The Congress has stooped to petty politics, he alleged. The Gurdaspur bypoll, scheduled for October 11, was necessitated following the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna earlier this year.