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Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times
Patiala, January 30, 2013
The landslide victory of the Shiromani Akali Dal in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections, whereas re-established the election managerial skills of its president Sukhbir Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia, the results are being seen as a major setback to Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh, who campaigned for the Sarnas in Delhi.


Amarinder Singh and his wife MOS for External Affairs Preneet Kaur had campaigned in New Delhi in Gurdwara elections, despite that Congress is secular party. And, in round up of elections, where it brought criticism from Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, now defeat of Sarna camp, has given enough ammunition to SAD to target Captain and Congress for interfering in Sikh affairs.

The Sarna faction had election on all seats, where Captain and his wife had campaigned for Shiromani Akali Dal.

Despite having, direct stakes involved, the Campaign of Amarinder for his friends-Sarna's- has made his situation more difficult in State politics and inside party, where already many are working to remove him.

In Punjab General Elections, Congress had got setback due to non-secular approach of Captain Amarinder and we suffered a loss of Hindu vote bank against Akalis, which garner votes by nominating Hindu candidates, remarked an Congress MLA requesting anonymity. "What was the need of campaigning there, when Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, who is close to Sarnas, avoided it", he questioned while adding that the DSGMC election could be a trend setter for the forthcoming Delhi Assembly election, but the undue involvement of PPCC President and his family, has given jolt to party chance at Moga bye-elections, as Akali Dal will now project it as another defeat of PPCC president.

Now, the results of Moga elections would decide the fate of Captain Amarinder, who is already under fire after 2012 assembly loss.

In fact, Captain, who re-joined Congress after deserting Akali Dal, had always interfered in Sikh affair, be it was the 2003 SGPC general house elections, where he openly backed the SAD rebel Gurcharan Singh Tohra to defeat the Badal group or his visit to Dixie Gurdwara, a centre of Hardliners at Canada, in year 2005. During, 2003 SGPC elections, even the Congress president Sonia Gandhi had personally interfered and reined in Captain Amarinder, the then Chief Minister, to ensure smooth conduct of SGPC elections.

"I was always against interfering in religious matters as congress is secular party. Personal 'friendship' of Captain Amarinder with Sarna, cant be criteria that a congressman should campgain in religious matter, which is against party norms. Now, I wont comment to media, but would raise matter at party platform", said congress leader former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who last week had crictised Amarinder for Campaigning in Gurdwara elections.

And AKali Dal was quick to target the PPCC President. " The way the entire government in Delhi and Congress leaders like the External Affairs Minister of State Ms. Parneet Kaur and Captain Amaridner Singh campaigned for the Sarnas had left the Sikhs in doubt that the fight really was between the Khalsa Panth and the Congress and its stooges. The verdict was therefore never in doubt. I hope the Congress leaders at the national level also draw the right lesson from it," said Dy CM Sukhbir Badal.

Though the PPCC president Captain Amarinder Singh is considered safe till Moga elections, but an adverse result would put a question mark on his political carrer as PPCC President. And Anticipating that Moga is crucuial for him, Captain has decided to Camp their till elections.

Despite of several attempts Captain Amarinder singh Could not be contacted for comments