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Amarinder gives ultimatum to rebels to quit polls race

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Chandigarh, Jan 22 (IANS) Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Sunday warned dissidents that they will be expelled from the party if they did not withdraw their nominations for the polls by Tuesday evening.

Asking the rebels to opt out of the February 4 polls race in favour of the official Congress nominees and put up a united front to defeat the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Amarinder said the interests of Punjab and its people were supreme and could not be allowed to be compromised for personal gains.

He gave the rebels 48 hours to withdraw from the contest if they did not want to face permanent expulsion from the party.

He warned that Congress high command had decided not to take them back once they were expelled for defiance.

Hitting out at the rebels who refused to heed the party leadership’s request for withdrawal of nomination, despite the promise that they would be accommodated once the Congress forms government in the state, Amarinder said it amounted to violation of the party’s disciplinary ethics, which could not be permitted at any cost.

Amarinder, however, made clear that the presence of rebel candidates in the fray would not have a serious impact on the poll prospects of the Congress.

The Congress is pitted against the ruling Akalis Dal-BJP alliance and the AAP in the assembly elections for 117 seats.

The Congress is facing rebels, who had caused the party’s loss in the 2012 assembly elections also, on nearly 25 seats.

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