Former chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Harish Rai Dhanda (54) has quit the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). He submitted his resignation to party patron and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
A lawyer, Dhanda had defeated Congress candidate and former minister Harnam Dass Johar from Ludhiana West constituency in the 2007 assembly elections. He was appointed CPS by Badal in 2007.
He resigned as an MLA and a CPS to take up the chairmanship of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) in 2011, but the Punjab and Haryana high court order went against his appointment, leaving him without a political post.
Dhanda was projected as the mayoral candidate for the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation in 2011. However, he lost to Congress candidate Maharaj Singh Raji.Speaking to Hindustan Times, he said, "It took me a year-and-a-half to take this decision. I have no second thoughts. This is the end of my political career."
Commenting on speculation that he could join the Congress, Dhanda said, "Even though I have quit the SAD, my loyalty will always be with the party. Hence, there is no question of joining the Congress or any other party."
He added: "I am all praise for Parkash Singh Badal as he gave me a chance in politics and also tried to reserve a ministerial berth for me in 2007. However, things did not go as per his plan, so he gave me the CPS's post."