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  India   All India  10 Nov 2018  Congress eyes 2019 gains as rebels hit Oppn parties

Congress eyes 2019 gains as rebels hit Oppn parties

THE ASIAN AGE. | TANVEER THAKUR
Published : Nov 10, 2018, 2:10 am IST
Updated : Nov 10, 2018, 2:10 am IST

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD ) is also fighting dissidence. Many disgruntled leaders have openly revolted against party president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh (Photo: PTI)
 Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh (Photo: PTI)

Chandigarh: It is advantage Congress in Punjab as both Opposition parties of the state are trying to deal with severe infighting.

With the suspension of Sukhpal Singh Khaira from the AAP in Punjab recently, the party’s infighting has once again come to the surface. The Shiromani Akali Dal is also busy quelling rebellion after some senior leaders resigned. The leaders had questioned the leadership of party president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

 

The squabbling in the main Opposition parties in the state has brought smiles to the faces of chief minister Amarinder Singh and other Congress leaders who find that situation advantageous ahead of the parliamentary elections.

State Congress president Sunil Jakhar has said that there is keenness among party leaders to contest the parliamentary elections that is reflected in the interest shown by so many ticket seekers.

The suspension of AAP leaders - Mr Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu - from the party for allegedly indulging in “anti-party” activities, has confirmed the infighting which was going on for long time.

Reacting to his suspension from AAP, Mr Khaira described the decision as “dictatorial”. “We will go to the people’s court. Unity talks were torpedoed under a conspiracy after announcing five Lok Sabha candidates. It seems it is a planned strategy and conspiracy,” Mr Khaira said.

 

Mr Khaira said his group, which includes eight of the 20 AAP MLAs in Punjab, is in talks with dissident Shiromani Akali Dali (SAD) leaders such as Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and Sewa Singh Shekhwan.

“If they have realised their mistake and have apologised to the panth (for the handling of the 2015 desecration incidents), they can come with us,” he said.

The eight rebel AAP MLAs, who revolted in July after Mr Khaira was unilaterally removed as Leader of the Opposition, have since been holding their own protests and rallies. The rebel faction has also created a new political affairs committee (ad-hoc PAC).

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD ) is also fighting dissidence. Many disgruntled leaders have openly revolted against party president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

 

After Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s resignation from all party posts, three other senior leaders including member of Parliament Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Sewa Singh Sekhwan and Ratan Singh Ajnala raised questions on the way party openly favoured pardon for Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was later jailed for rape. The rebels  also questioned the way Sukhbir Badal is running the party.

Amid a virtual revolt by a section of Taksali Akalis (old guard),  Sukhbir Badal tried to control things by saying that the SAD was nobody’s personal fiefdom and he was ready to quit his post the moment the party so wishes.

 

“Let me tell you one thing, the SAD has given me an opportunity to serve. If they will say you leave and let someone else take over, I am ready,” Sukhbir Badal said.

Tags: amarinder singh, sukhbir singh badal
Location: India, Chandigarh, Chandigarh