The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is reportedly busy dealing with factionalism within the party in the Budhlada constituency, ahead of state chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's visit to various villages of the constituency from March 11 to campaign in favour of SAD candidate from Bathinda parliamentary constituency Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
The chief minister is scheduled to cover 11 villages during his visit.
The factionalism is so intense that it may make things difficult for Harsimrat Kaur, if not tackled in time.
Beginning from Bachoana village, the chief minister will cover nearly 11 villages including Ralli, Bahadurpur, Kishangarh, Shekhupur Khudal, Akbarpur Khudal, Bakhsiwala, Kahangarh, Kulriyan, Dharampura and Dyalpura of Budhlada constituency of Mansa district.
Sources in the SAD revealed that SAD Budhlada in-charge Satwinder Singh Manta is having a tough time to end the factionalism and the animosity between two groups in the area. The groups are reportedly not even on talking terms and do not share any views on the preparations for the chief minister's visit and campaigning for the party candidate. Both the groups are making preparations for the chief minster separately.
Sources said, "One of the rival groups is led by Budhlada SAD MLA Chitan Singh Smao, while another is led by SAD district in-charge and former Akali MLA from Budhlada Harbant Singh Datewas. Both the groups are not ready to even share a word with each other, leave aside sharing a stage. The cause of animosity is that the latter group feels neglected by the party."
It may be mentioned here that that, in an alliance with Congress, Sanjha Morcha chairman Manpreet Singh Badal, who, in 2012 assembly polls, lost the Maur constituency - one of the nine assembly segments of Bathinda Lok Sabha seat - is pitted against sister-in-law, his cousin deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's wife.
Smao, however, denied any factionalism and groupism in the party.
"Preparations are on for the chief minister's visit, but we don't have any information if Harsimrat Kaur would also be accompanying him. There is no factionalism in our villages and workers are unitedly working enthusiastically for the party candidate Harsimrat Kaur," said Smao.