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EVEN as the fate of “turncoats” who joined the Congress recently hangs in balance with clamour against tickets to them growing, another ‘party hopper,’ Devinder Singh Ghubaya, son of Ferozepur MP and SAD leader Sher Singh Ghubaya, is likely to join the Congress in Delhi Tuesday.
The Congress has been facing opposition from its leaders while considering former SAD MLAs Pargat Singh, Inderbir Singh Bolaria and Sarwan Singh Phillaur for tickets as leaders staking claims on the constituencies represented by them are threatening to rebel.
Ghubaya Senior, sources close to him said, has decided not to resign from SAD as it would mean losing his membership from Parliament under the anti-defection law. His son and wife, Krishna Rani, may be taken into the party fold by Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh Tuesday.
Ghubaya, it is learnt, wanted a SAD ticket either for his son or his wife from Fazilka or Ferozepur (rural) in the upcoming Assembly election. But it was denied as Fazilka is a seat left by SAD for its ally BJP. The SAD did not want to consider either of them for Ferozepur, sources said.
The new political relationship has many leaders in the Congress fuming. As Devinder is a claimant for a ticket from Fazilka, Dr Mohinder Kumar Rinwa, a former two-time Congress MLA from Fazilka, who has been nurturing the constituency has already shot off a letter to AICC president Sonia Gandhi. In the letter he has said that it was unfair that a turncoat was given precedence over a party loyalist, who did not quit the party even when it was out for power for 10 years, “Our workers faced excesses by these SAD leaders for 10 years. And now they are joining our party because they are facing incumbency. Why should such people be taken?” asked Dr Rinwa.
Dr Rinwa added that by taking the Ghubayas, Amarinder would lend credence to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations of ‘Amarinder-Badals nexus’. “How is Amarinder going to answer this? The father will be in SAD and son in Congress? How does this work?” he asked.
The Ghubayas’ entry has been facilitated by Guru Har Sahai MLA, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and a noted agriculture expert of Punjab. Ghubaya is a Rai Sikh and Congress sources say he could swing Rai Sikh votes in Congress favour. Ferozepore has nearly three lakh Rai Sikh voters. Ghubaya had defeated former CLP leader Sunil Jakhar in 2014 Lok Sabha election. His family’s induction is set to upset Jakhar also.
Congress is already weathering a storm of sorts after entry of former SAD MLAs Inderbir Singh Bolaria and Sarwan Singh Phillaur,with former Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa opposing ticket to both of them.
After AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi urged the party leaders to sink their differences, Bajwa and Amarinder had a luncheon meeting in Delhi. Bajwa was opposing tickets to Bolaria and Phillaur and had met Rahul in this connection. The leaders, it is learnt, had a meeting and discussed ways to work together for the brighter prospects of the party. Bajwa has been pushing for tickets for his supporters, who have been feeling left out with Amarinder being at the helm of affairs.