Bolaria, Sandhu join Cong, Capt says more Akalis to follow
Former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Inderbir Singh Bolaria along with ex-Amritsar (urban) district president of the party Upkar Singh Sandhu joined the Congress in the presence of its Punjab chief, Captain Amarinder Singh, here on Tuesday.punjab Updated: Oct 11, 2016 19:43 IST
Former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Inderbir Singh Bolaria along with ex-Amritsar (urban) district president of the party Upkar Singh Sandhu joined the Congress in the presence of its Punjab chief, Captain Amarinder Singh, here on Tuesday.
“The joining of the two leaders is unconditional and no promises of an assembly ticket has been made to them. In fact, all those who wish to join our party are welcome, but sans any condition,” said Capt, while welcoming the two during a press conference here.
Describing Bolaria’s move to the Congress as homecoming, as his late father and former Akali MLA Raminder Singh Bolaria was a part of the party before 2002, Capt rubbished questions on local Congressmen being averse to the development.
“In fact, all leaders of the party from Amritsar are present here,” he said in the presence of AICC secretary for Punjab Harish Chaudhary and other senior leaders from Majha belt.
On the absence of former MLA and ticket aspirant from Amritsar South Hajinder Singh Thakedar, Capt said he was out of town for some personal work. Like Bolaria, Thakedar too has represented Amritsar South.
Former MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa, who had lost to Bolaria in the 2012 elections, was also absent from the press conference. On another leader Rinku Narula’s opposition, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief said he was not averse to Bolaria’s entry into the party.
Akalis ruined Punjab: Bolaria
Bolaria, who resigned from the Vidhan Sabha on Monday three months after being suspended from the SAD, said the Akali-BJP government has ruined Punjab in the past 10 years.
Claiming it was “time to oust this government”, Bolaria said: “No party is bad, it is the leadership that makes it bad or good. Badals and Majithias are responsible for the state in which Punjab is today.” The two-time MLA said he had chosen the occasion of Dussehra to join the Congress as the festival signifies the victory of good over evil. “The time has come to end the misrule of Badals and Majithias,” he said.
Captain, on his part, said: “This is not a single instance of desertion in Akali Dal. Many Akalis will join us in the days to come. The SAD will be left empty-handed before the assembly polls.”
Awaaz-e-Punjab leaders welcome, sans conditions: Capt
On Awaaz-e-Punjab leaders joining the Congress, the PPCC chief said they are welcome, but without any pre-condition.
Expressing reservations about Navjot Singh Sidhu, Capt said he will have to maintain discipline if he joins the Congress. “He is known for his indiscipline,” he said, referring to Sidhus’s stint in the BJP. He, however, expressed no such reservations about Bains brothers and former Akali MLA Pargat Singh.
The former chief minister also made it clear that the distribution of tickets will be done by the party high command in consultation with the PPCC, and only deserving candidates who have the potential to win will get the candidature.