A former three-time Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA and cabinet minister, Captain Balbir Singh Bath, joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday. He was welcomed into the party fold by state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Punjab affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh and Faridkot MP Sadhu Singh.
Besides Bath, wife of former finance minister in the SAD minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh, Sarabjit Kaur, also joined the AAP along with her daughter Manpreet Kaur Dolly. Dolly had contested as an independent from the Dera Bassi assembly seat in 2012 and got 7,500 votes. Captain Kanwaljit had died in a car accident in 2009.
Bath remained MLA in 1997, 2002 and 2007 from Sri Hargobindpur in Gurdaspur. In 2011, he was made a cabinet minister with defence services portfolio in the Parkash Singh Badal government. Prior to the 2012 assembly polls, he was denied a ticket which went to Des Raj Dugga, who won the seat.
Chief of the Secular Lok Raj Party Harchand Singh Barsat and Punjabi singer Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi also joined the AAP. Welcoming the leaders into the party fold, Sanjay Singh said time was ripe that all Punjabis raise their voice against the misrule of the Akalis.
‘Comedy’ minister of Punjab
Taking a dig at deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, Sanjay Singh said he should be made a “comedy” minister instead of state home minister for his “irresponsible” statements against AAP leaders. “Sometime, he links the AAP with Khalistanis or the ISI, which indicates that he (Sukhbir) has lost his mental balance in fear of a humiliating defeat in the assembly polls, he said Even by raising the bogey of ISI threat, Sukhbir is making ground to conspire attacks on AAP leaders, he added.