Differences in the Nawanshahr unit of the SAD have come out in the open with a group of senior Akali leaders opposing the decision to let SAD in-charge Satinder Kaur Kariha's son-in-law Jagteshwar Singh Majithia run the party's affairs while she was in Goa for the 'chintan shivir' of the SAD-BJP.
The two meetings of SAD workers and panchayat members called by Majithia on Wednesday turned into a stormy affair when some senior Akali leaders said Majithia had no right to address any party meeting in Kariha's absence. They decided to approach deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to seek action against Majithia for his "autocratic" manner of functioning.
SAD general secretary and SGPC member Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, truck union president and SAD leader Jagjit Singh Lally, Harjit Singh Bhatti, the personal assistant of Satinder Kaur Kariha, and others held a separate meeting in the evening and accused Majithia of interfering in the party's functioning in Nawanshahr.
The senior leaders also warned that if the SAD loses panchayat, zila-parishad and municipal council elections in Nawanshahr, Majithia would be to blame for it.
Talking to HT, SGPC member Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa said, "Now things have crossed all limits. Majithia wants to take the reins of the party, which is not acceptable to us. He is also projecting himself as a big Akali leader despite the fact that he is not even a member of the SAD."
He said Majithia was only responsible for factionalism in the SAD unit of the district and senior leaders were annoyed with him.
Lally demanded that since Majithia was an outsider, he should be sent back immediately.
Party sources said Maninder Kaur Kariha, daughter-in-law of Satinder Kaur Kariha, has also come back to Nawanshahr to work for the party, which might affect Majithia.
Majithia however said he had not called any party meeting in Nawanshahr on Wednesday. "I am just another Akali worker," he said.