The defeat of the Congress in the Moga by-poll has trigerred a blame game within the party's state unit with two senior leaders Randeep Singh Nabha and Brahm Mohindra locking horns with PCC chief Amarinder Singh for issuing show cause notices to them.
Amarinder had issued show cause notices to the two leaders asking them to explain why they remained absent during the by-poll campaigning.
Besides the two MLAs, leader Rakesh Panday and former minister Avtar Henry were told to file their replies by March five in connection with the party's debacle at the hustings.
The ruling SAD-BJP combine wrested the Moga assembly seat from the Congress with its candidate Joginderpal Singh Jain trouncing Vijay Kumar Sathi (Cong) by a margin of over 18,000 votes.
Justifying his absence from the poll campaign, Nabha, who received the notice today, said "I was not well and had informed him (Amarinder) in advance."
"It is a time for introspection and not to issue show cause notices to senior leaders. The job of the state Congress chief is to keep party intact and not to create circumstances for division," he said.
On receiving the notice, Mohindra too fumed "I am not a political turncoat". He was apparently referring to Joginderpal Jain who had switched allegiance from the Congress to the SAD.
"I am nobody to give an advice but I have a suggestion: don't suffocate your senior colleagues and party MLAs. The Congress party has already paid heavily for this," he said in his reply to the notice.
"This is a conspiracy hatched against me by the people who are very close to you (Amarinder). They also worked against me in the last assembly election," Mohindra said.
In his reply, he said "I am a loyal soldier of the party for the last more than 36 years. The Congress is in my blood. I have unstinted and unshattered faith in its ideology and leadership. I have never shirked from any responsibility given by the party." Mohindra said.