Congress’ star rebel draws battle-line in Punjab

As election fever catches up in Punjab, Congress party`s biggest rebel Malwinder Singh is busy drawing the battle-line against his nephew.

Patiala: As election fever catches up in
Punjab, Congress party`s biggest rebel Malwinder Singh, the
younger brother of state Congress chief Amarinder, is busy
drawing the battle-line against his nephew who overtook him in
the race for Saman Assembly segment ticket.

Malwinder sounded the poll bugle against PCC president
and his brother Amarinder Singh.

"I will begin my campaign from Rajpura on Sunday and will
also canvass for Shiromani Akali Dal in Samana where Raninder
(Amarinder`s son) is contesting," said Malwinder.

Speaking up for the first time since January 7 when he
abandoned his party of 35 years to join his brother`s arch
rivals, the Akalis, Malwinder said that he will campaign
against Congress across Punjab, including Samana.

Not just that, the former Congressman is set to give his
brother more headache as he is more than comfortable in
contesting the next Lok Sabha polls from Patiala, now
represented by his brother`s wife and union minister Preneet

Quick to convert Malwinder`s hurt at being not given a
Congress ticket into political capital, SAD president Sukhbir
Singh Badal offered him nomination for Patiala Lok Sabha seat
and the former Congressman has readily agreed.

"The Badals have offered me this seat and I am game for
it. I am right now acclimatising to the new party and
workers," he said.

The Patiala Lok Sabha seat has traditionally remained a
stronghold of the Patiala royals - earlier represented once
each by Amarinder Singh and his mother Mohinder Kaur and
thrice by his wife Preneet Kaur.

Unrepentant about his move to defect from Congress to
join the Shiromani Akali Dal, Malwinder said "the decision was
a heart-breaking one and was taken after deep introspection."

Ruling out any scope for reconciliation with Congress,
the younger representative of the erstwhile Patiala royal
family said "I arrived at this decision after a lot of
thought. I don`t take decisions in haste. There is no going
back now. It is out of question.

"I nursed Samana with a lot of hope and expectation of
being declared the party`s official candidate for this
election but when that did not happen, I had to take some hard
decisions", said Malwinder.

Malwinder Singh, the once loyal foot soldier of
Congress and a virtual shadow of his elder brother, feels he
never quite got what he deserved.

In the long political career that was mostly spent in the
background as a party worker, Malwinder Singh has only fought
one election - that of Chandigarh Golf Club President, the
post he currently holds. He had earlier too remained President
of the prestigious Club.

The family of Amarinder Singh is, however, silent on
Malwinder`s issue.

When asked, both Preneet Kaur and her daughter Jai Inder
Kaur refused to comment while Raninder Singh merely
said "I respect my uncle. I have nothing more to say on this


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