Political equations change in Punjab

Political equations change in Punjab

By Gurpreet Singh Chhina | Chandigarh | 27 November, 2016
Shiromani Akali Dal, Captain Amarinder Singh, Aam Aadmi Party, Surinder Singh Sodhi, Akali Dal, Navjot Singh Sidhu
Political equations in poll-bound Punjab have changed within a week as leaders of various political parties, especially the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), were seen shifting their loyalties to other parties to get tickets to secure their political careers.

Political equations in poll-bound Punjab have changed within a week as leaders of various political parties, especially the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), were seen shifting their loyalties to other parties to get tickets to secure their political careers. The talk in the state was about the plans of the Sidhu couple and former MLA Pargat Singh. Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains had left the Awaaz-e-Punjab party floated by Navjot Singh Sidhu with the Bains brothers on 8 September. Capping the three-month high drama that unfolded after Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as BJP MP from the Rajya Sabha, the Congress and a “humbled” Awaaz-e-Punjab outfit led by Sidhu on Wednesday brokered a deal for Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of the cricketer-turned-politician, and Pargat Singh to join the Congress. They would join on 28 November.  The ruling SAD got a jolt when six-time MLA and former minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur resigned from the party and also as a legislator after he was denied ticket from his Kartarpur constituency in the first list of party candidates released on Wednesday. Phillaur joined Congress on Friday in the presence of state chief Captain Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh. Phillaur, who had to resign as tourism and jails minister in April 2014 after his son Damanvir Singh’s name cropped up in the Bhola drug case, has been sidelined in SAD for the past two years. Another political change was seen in favour of Congress when former SAD leader, Balbir Sidhu, former MP Gurcharan Singh Ghalib’s son Soni Ghalib, and Olympian hockey  player and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member Surinder Singh Sodhi, also a retired IG of Punjab Police, joined Congress on Monday.  Ghalib is a youth leader who had been assisting his father, who had joined the SAD in 2009. Balbir Sidhu is a former SAD halqa-in-charge of Talwandi Sabo. Sodhi had joined AAP only five months ago after taking premature retirement. Apart from being a senior police officer, he is an Arjuna awardee who was part of the Indian hockey contingent that won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Another major setback to SAD in the state was when former Akali Dal Chief Parliamentary Secretary Avinash Chander shifted his loyalty from SAD to Congress. Chander, who resigned as Phillaur MLA as also from the Akali Dal after being denied a ticket, will join the Congress on 29 November.

 

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