In the dispute between two Akali leaders of the Doaba region — former minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur and transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar — chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has picked his side.
To Phillaur’s controversial youth leader son Damanvir Singh, who continues to embarrass the party with his continuous statements against Kohar and signature campaign plans, the CM said on Friday: “Galat kar reha (it’s wrong what he is up to). Kohar is our respected leader and Jalandhar rural unit president. It does not suit anyone to make comments on him. Come to the party before going to the media.” Badal said it on the sidelines of the death anniversary function of Baba Prem Singh Muralewale organised by party leader Bibi Jagir Kaur.
Badal said he was not taking sides but only asking the stakeholders to sit together and resolve the issue. “I have asked Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal to find a solution,” he said. Damanvir, as senior vice-president of the Doaba zone of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD), has announced a signature campaign against Kohar from Saturday over his alleged interfering in his father’s constituency. Phillaur has termed the concerns raised by Damanvir as genuine.
After Damanvir’s statement, local leaders from both groups have called each other “corrupt” and “mafia” before the press. Contesting the Congress complaint to the Election Commission of India (ECI) about irregularities in voter registration, Badal said the rival had raised irrelevant issues.
‘No fiscal crisis’
On the Punjab and Haryana high court’s finding the state’s fiscal position “alarming”, the CM said the proof of its soundness was in unprecedented development happening in the state. “Can any state short of money execute such massive works and spend more that Rs 30 crore in each constituency? I haven’t seen the honorable judge’s verdict but everything is fine on fiscal front in Punjab,” he said.
Asked to comment on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale’s demanding that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) be asked to look into the attack on him, the CM said police were competent to solve the case.