Those offered money by Cong tried to bargain with SAD: Jain

Launching a counterattack on the Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal on Sunday blamed the opposition party of indulging in mass-scale malpractices in the Saturday bypoll to Moga assembly seat. SAD candidate Joginder Pal Jain, also refuted all "allegations" of poll malpractices against his party leaders and cadres.

"All allegations are completely false and baseless. The truth is, more than 200 people came to our the in-charge of wards and said that Congress workers were giving them Rs 2,000 to vote (for Congress candidate Vijay Sathi), and asked how much will us give. We refused to bargain as we do not believe in winning through dishonesty," Jain said while talking to the Indian Express.

He reiterated he had went to Deputy Chief minister Sukhbir Badal to "talk about my area's development but he offered me party membership".

He played the victim while ruling out that low voting percentage in urban areas would affect Sathi's vote bank.

"Rain will affect me not Sathi. For the last 25 years, I have enjoyed maximum support from the urban areas. All inner wards in city such as 8, 9, 10, 14 and 15 are supporting me not Sathi," he said, adding that "People now know that being a part of ruling party, I will be able to work for them in better way."

However, Jain also hinted at strong opposition from some leaders inside SAD because of whom he may suffer some loss. "There are people in my party whom I don;t want to name and who have opposed me strongly," he said.

On the other hand, Congress' Vijay Sathi alleged that the "Akalis crossed all limits of malpractices and dishonesty on Saturday."

Citing an example from mythology, he said, "Lord Krishna became the sarthi (charioteer) for Arjuna. Let's see who becomes the sarthi for a poor person like me. Akalis no doubt adopted their goonda and arm twisting tactics but I am sure, just as in Mahabharata, honesty will win in the end."

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