A video allegedly showing Ferozepur’s Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Sher Singh Ghubaya – whose son is contesting the assembly polls from Fazilka on Congress ticket – in an intimate position with a woman went viral on Friday. The MP declared the video “fabricated” and said it was “a ploy” by SAD chief (and deputy CM) Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is contesting from Ghubaya’s home seat Jalalabad.
Flanked by Congress MP and Jalalabad candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu, Ghubaya ripped open the rupture with Sukhbir to openly side with the Grand Old Party, and said, “It is an attempt to politically murder me.” Ghubaya has already been actively seeking votes for his son and the Congress in Fazilka, and has a significant sway over the 30% Rai Sikh (Scheduled Caste) vote in Jalalabad too.
At the press conference in Jalalabad— from where AAP’s Bhagwant Mann is also in fray — the veteran Rai Sikh leader said he would write to the Union home minister to increase his security cover as there is a “threat to my life.”
Playing the caste card, he said the video “is an insult to Rai Sikhs”.
Bittu was quick to seize the moment: “This is an attack on a man’s dignity. The central government must get a free and fair probe into the entire matter — either from a parliamentary committee or sitting judge of high court.”
The video purportedly shows a man alleged to be Ghubaya drinking liquor and indulging in sexual activities with a woman other than his wife. Sources attributed its origins to Ghubaya’s personal staff, while there was talk of more such videos set to be released.
Ghubaya, who was MLA from Jalalabad before vacating the seat in 2009 for Sukhbir, also said he won’t resign as MP or from the Akali Dal. “People elected me for a full term, and I will complete it,” he said.
There were reports earlier of his leaving the Akali Dal, but eventually only his son and wife joined the Congress. His son Davinder even got the ticket. Ghubaya referred to a vigilance raid at a college owned by him just after the report of his switching allegiances. SAD Union minister and Sukhbir’s wife, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, had at the time said Ghubaya was free to leave the party.
Ghubaya on Friday recounted his version of the rift, “After the 2012 polls, Sukhbir was sought to politically eliminate me from Jalalabad initially by sending outsiders as halqa in-charge. When I complained to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, he asked me to discuss it with Sukhbir. But Sukhbir never paid any heed to my repeated pleas.”
Then, he said, Sukhbir ignored his requests for party ticket from Jalalabad, Ferozepur Rural, Guru Har Sahai or Fazilka seats for the assembly polls. “My family then felt ditched and decided to move away,” he added.
He alleged that Sukhbir had tried to use muscle power to “keep us down” and “got a vigilance raid conducted at my engineering college, besides trying to implicate my wife in a fake case of rice scam”.
“When all their tactics failed, Sukhbir has got this fake video to go viral on WhatsApp to malign my image a day before (Congress vice-president) Rahul Gandhi’s Jalalabad rally,” Ghubaya said.