Even as many Congress leaders have crossed over to the Shiromani Akali Dal, the probable joining of its leader Sukhjit Singh Kaka Lohgarh has ended up ruffling the feathers of senior Akali leaders, including Tota Singh.
Tota Singh's reason: Lohgarh had recently contested the assembly elections against him from Dharamkot. The supporters of Tota Singh feel that if Lohgarh joined Akali Dal, it would affect Tota Singh's political influence in the area.
"Party president Sukhbir Singh Badal has already cleared that there is no place for Lohgarh in Akali Dal. Lohgarh had approached Sukhbir Singh Badal personally for joining, but his request was turned down," Tota Singh added.
Senior Akali leaders, who had gathered at the residence of Tota Singh at Moga under the presidentship of zila parishad chairman Gurbaksh Singh Kapoore on Wednesday, said the workers would not bear Lohgarh's entry into SAD because of loyalty factor. Kapoore alleged that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had given Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee ticket to Lohgarh twice, but he had left SAD to join Congress at the time of assembly elections.
He lashed out at Lohgarh for cheating the people of Dharamkot. "Lohgarh had ignored the sentiments of Akali workers at the time of last assembly elections and had joined Congress for selfish interests," Tota Singh said.
When contacted, Congress leader Sukhjit Singh Kaka Lohgarh said he had indeed approached SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal a few days ago. "I have not decided to join SAD or any other party. It's all propaganda. I will decide the future course of action in consultation with my supporters," he said.