The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) withdrew the candidature of Gurjeet Singh Malhi from ward number 25 on Friday. This means that real estate baron and party leader Kulwant Singh’s son Sarabjeet Singh, contesting as an independent, faces no SAD candidate in the ward.
In ward number 49, Kulwant’s son Manpreet Singh withdrew his candidature. Here too, there is no SAD candidate left in the fray as party candidate Gurnam Singh Bindra’s nomination was rejected on the grounds that his affidavit did not have signatures of the proposer. This and the subsequent withdrawals on Friday have raised eyebrows.
Manjit Singh Sethi, contesting as an independent candidate from ward number 14, said, “I have been associated with the SAD for a long time. Gurjeet Malhi had been close to Kulwant. There has to be some arrangement behind the withdrawal.”
As of now, the battle for ward number 25 is among Congress candidate Bala Singh, independent candidates Sarabjeet Singh, Manjit Singh Lubana and NS Multani. Three of the four are first-timers while Manjit Singh Lubana has lost the election thrice. The SAD has denied the allegations. SAD leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia said, “The withdrawal of candidature from ward number 25 was a conscious decision as he had criminal cases pending against him. The SAD is now backing independent candidate Manjit Singh Lubana from ward 25.”
The SAD infighting has now made the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress fear the Kulwant Singh group that has fielded 36 candidates and all have been allotted the bucket symbol. Even residents are aware that there is a triangular contest in the offing – the SAD-BJP, Congress and the Kulwant group. firstname.lastname@example.org
SAD-BJP face-off in two wards
Ward number 20
In ward number 20, differences between the SAD and BJP have come to the fore. The SAD has fielded Narinder Singh Lamba, while the BJP has fielded Sahibee Anand. None of the parties withdrew their candidature on Friday.
Ward number 45
BJP wanted to field its candidate from here, but SAD gave ticket to Gurmeet Singh Shampur. Now, BJP leader Baljit Kaur Purkhalvi is contesting as an independent.