Infighting among the local leaders of the SAD-BJP alliance in the city has become a cause of concern for Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Pawan Kumar Tinu as this can adversely affect his electoral prospects in the Lok Sabha elections.
Factional feud between two sitting councillors and two former councillors of the alliance has reached the higher echelons with the issue being handled by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal after Tinu failed to pacify them.
On Wednesday night when Sukhbir Badal was garnering support for the SAD candidate in city, former BJP councillor Kamal Sharma met him at a hotel and showed him video footages of an incident of assault wherein former Akali councillor Manjit Singh Titu is the accused.
Later, Tinu rushed to Sharma’s residence for facilitating a patch-up between the two leaders but his attempts did not yield any result.
When contacted, an agitated Kamal Sharma said that attempts to neglect a senior leader like him will cost Tinu dearly in this election. He said depite the fact that there is a strong evidence against Titu and others in the video footage, no action has been taken against the accused.
The former BJP councillor said, “I have showed these footages to Badal, BJP’s state president Kamal Sharma and several other senior leaders but to no avail”.
Regarding speculations that he may switch over to another party, Sharma said that he would hold a meeting with his supporters and would then take “a big decision”.
Another dissenter in the alliance, SAD jathedar Pritam Singh said, “I have talked to the chief minister about a false case registered against me and others and he has assured that justice will be meted out to me. Therefore, I have called off a protest of dharna announced by me in this regard”.
According to available information, the supporters of Titu allegedly slapped ex-councillor Kamal Sharma and punched his nephew Rajesh Sharma following a dispute over parking a car outside Sharma's office recently. Following this, Titu, along with his supporters, allegedly confronted Sharma and his supporters.
The city police had booked Titu and four of his supporters for allegedly assaulting Sharma and his nephew. A case under sections 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 452 (house trespass, assault or wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC was registered against them at the Bhargo Camp police station.
However, a case was also registered by the police against Kamal the very next day under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and 3, 4 of the SC/ST Act in the case.
On March 20, the city police had booked Akali councillor jathedar Pritam Singh on the complaint of BJP councillor Joginder Singh Tony that the former barged into his brother’s plot along with some supporters and took away some of his belongings . Tony's brother Mohan Singh had alleged that he had a land dispute with Pritam pertaining to a plot of 11 marlas in Mithu Basti area but he (Mohan) had also won the case in the court. The case has been registered against Pritam under sections 447 and 448 (house trespass) and other sections of the IPC.