Accepting that inducting former director general of police Paramdeep Singh Gill from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was a violation of coalition dharma, Shanta Kumar, man in charge of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) affairs in Punjab, has said it should not have happened.
He agrees with the views of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on the similar lines. “We are running a coalition and its dharma forbids one partner to poach from the other. This is wrong,” the BJP leader said on Sunday during a Hind Samachar Group function here.
Claiming that he couldn’t say exactly if Gill was inducted into the BJP, the leader said if it was so, “it should not have happened”. On August 25, Gill joined the BJP during a rally at Kathua in Jammu region reportedly in the presence of party national president Amit Shah, inviting strong objection from the Akali leadership and forcing Badal to read the coalition rules to the partner. In the presence of the media, Shanta Kumar also instructed Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma to ensure that his unit followed coalition dharma in letter and spirit.
“Even if Gill has served in Jammu in the past, how can he be a member of one party in Punjab and another in Jammu,” said Shanta Kumar.
Sharma took the plea that even the state BJP unit had not been kept in the loop about Gill’s joining the party in Jammu. On possibility of reshuffling in the Punjab cabinet, Shanta Kumar said he didn’t see any possibility or plan now. On June 25 in Chandigarh, he had stated that the BJP cabinet offices would be reshuffled in a month. “Political compulsions changes with time,” he explained.
For about an hour, he was locked in a closed-door meeting with the state party president, after which the sources said the party might postpone the reshuffling plan for a long time.