With only two days left for election campaigning to end in Punjab, the absence of blue- eyed boy of former CM Captain Amarinder Singh- Dhuri MLA Arvind Khanna- from the election scene, has once again increased the speculation of his switching loyalty to the Panthic party.
Arvind Khanna, who is missing from the Congress campaign since the poll bugle was sounded, even remained absent during the rally of All-India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi held in favour of Congress candidate Vijay Inder Singla.
Amidst the poll din, sources said that he left for a family vacation for his birthday which falls on April 28.
Apart from him, Surjit Singh Dhiman, another protégé of Captain Amarinder, was also absent.
However, the absence of Khanna from the election scene has raised many eyebrows as in 2012 assembly election, he was sole in-charge of the Congress campaign in the state.
Though his soured relations with party candidate Vijay Inder Singla is an open secret but his absence from the campaign of his political master Captain Amarinder is a much-talked about issue.
Ever since the poll schedule was announced, Arvind Khanna has not visited his constituency , Dhuri. Thus, in his absence many of Congress workers and supporters has strayed either into the Aam Aadmi Party or the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Khanna's absence has once again increased the speculations of his joining SAD. Khanna has a personal relationship with the SAD president Sukhbir Badal. Because of this, Khanna even faced a tough time as many Congress leaders accused him of a mole of Badals in the Congress and even complained about this to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who also has reservations about Khanna.
Despite several attempts, Arvind Khanna didn't attend phone calls.
However, persons close to Arvind said that no one came to smooth his ruffled feathers, so he has no other options but to remain silent. He is not going to any other political party, said a family member, who acknowledged the absence of Arvind and said that no one from the Vijay Inder Singla camp had invited them to the rally or send any information about event.
He said that when most of the MPLAD grants were disbursed directly by Singla , ignoring Arvind in Dhuri, he should seek his mandate there directly. "We are not against the Congress, but we need proper respect, which a elected leader deserves', said his loyalist.