Punjab Cong president's brother joins Akali Dal

Upset over being denied a Congress ticket for the January 30 Punjab Assembly polls, Malwinder Singh, the younger brother of Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh, quit the party on Saturday and joined the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal.

Singh, who openly opposed the Congress allotting a ticket for the Samana Assembly seat to Amarinder Singh's son Raninder Singh, was welcomed into the Akali Dal by its president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister. "The (Congress) party has done great injustice to me despite all the work I have done," Singh said.

"This reflects that old and loyal workers don't have a say in the affairs of the Congress party, as reputed leaders are treated worse than beggars during the run up to the announcement of the candidates," Badal said.

 Singh, however, said that his elder brother (Amarinder) could not be blamed for his not getting the Congress ticket. "My 'bhabhi' (sister-in-law) is the one responsible for the situation. She was adamant on getting the Congress ticket for Raninder," Singh said. He also blamed Gulchain Singh Charak, who is in-charge of the Congress affairs in Punjab, for him being denied the ticket. "(Charak) has no standing in Jammu from where he comes and has no political understanding (of Punjab). He contested an election in Jammu once and he managed to lose even his security deposit," he said. The Congress faces 35 rebels in the upcoming polls.

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