Taking a U-turn from the decision of not contesting any election in future, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president and former member of parliament, Simranjit Singh Mann, on Tuesday announced the name of his party's candidate in the byelection for the Moga assembly seat.
The SAD (A)
contender, Navtej Singh Honney, will have the support of some Panthic organisations. Addressing his party's workers here on Tuesday, Mann confirmed that the SAD (A) would contest the byelection on the issue of the "freedom of Sikhs" and justice for all families who lost loved ones in the 1984 pogrom in Delhi.
"We are in the election because there is no Panthic body is in this political war," said Mann. "Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, are playing into hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress isn't playing good opposition in Punjab."
He accepted that Congress candidate Vijay Sathi and his father, Sathi Roop Lal, were socialists who had fought for the rights of the poor but said now Vijay Sathi had abandoned his ideology. "How can we support him?" said Mann. "It's a do-or-die battle for the SAD (A)."
He charged the member of parliament from Bathinda, Sukhbir's wife, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, with being quiet in the Lok Sabha on the issue of justice for Sikhs. "We never could send a representative to the Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha, so now we take a chance in Moga," Mann added.
Former MP Dhian Singh Mand, party general secretary Jaskaran Singh Kahan Singh Wala, Bhai Mohkam Singh of Damdami Taksal, and party candidate Navtej Singh Honey also addressed the gathering.