Putting all speculations to rest, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leadership has entrusted Anandpur Sahib MP Prem Singh Chandumajra with the responsibility of party’s SAS Nagar halqa (constituency) incharge.
The move comes in the wake of the ‘vacuum’ created by the tactical exit of Balwant Singh Ramoowalia who deserted the SAD to join as a cabinet minister in the Uttar Pradesh government recently.
Breaking away from the party tradition, an MP has been entrusted with the responsibility of halqa in-charge for the first time.
During a meeting of party workers and leaders on Wednesday, SAD district president Ujjagar Singh Wadali while urging everyone to show unity announced that Chandumajra has been entrusted with the responsibility of halqa in-charge.
“Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on the phone instructed me to convey his message to party workers and leaders that Chandumajra would be acting as in-charge of SAS Nagar constituency,” said Wadali.
The concept of halqa incharge is prevalent only in SAD.
Traditionally, a prospective candidate for the assembly seat or SAD candidate who has lost elections from particular constituency is given the charge.
“The announcement has come as a surprise. I had come here to attend the meeting to boost the morale of party workers. We will respect it if it is order of the high command,” said Paramjeet Kaur Landran, chairperson Punjab Women Commission, and a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member from SAS Nagar.
Apprehensions of son’s proxy role
Surprised by the announcement, a faction of party leaders and workers is apprehensive that Chandumajra’s son might act as a proxy in-charge of the constituency. The Anandpur Sahib MP had been lobbying for his son Harinder Pal Chandumajra for the post of halqa in-charge.
A press note issued on behalf of Chandumajra said the Chandumajra family has been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the constituency, adding to speculations among party workers that Chandumajra’s son may take care of the segment.
Independent councillors at meet
In the wake of deputy mayor Manjeet Sethi and councillor Avtar Singh Tehsildar who had contested as independents and former councillor Manmohan Singh Lang at the SAD meeting, speculations were rife about the changing political scenario in the district. “There is no question of coming back to SAD. We attended the meeting just to honour MP’s invitation. Our alliance with the Azaad group and the Congress is intact,” Sethi said.
Asked to comment on the turn of events, mayor Kulwant Singh said, “Our alliance is intact and nothing is going to change. There are people who are in a habit of counting numbers and speculate.”