In trouble for the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat, Sufi singer and party leader Hans Raj Hans on Tuesday used some particularly harsh words against the candidature of chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) and Adampur MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu.
A “fanatic” and a “selfish leader” were two of the terms Hans used for Tinu, but he stressed that he won’t leave the SAD for not being considered for the ticket, “even though I got an offer to join the Congress from its state chief Partap Singh Bajwa”.
Hans, who lost the 2009 LS elections from this seat on the SAD ticket to Congress’s Mohinder Singh Kaypee by a margin of over 36,000 votes, said he was upset over the party ticket being given to Tinu, “as it was only he (Tinu) who ensured the SAD’s defeat in the last general polls”.
“Tinu is fanatic leader who can’t see our society united. His role has always been of a spoiler for our social fabric. Be it the Talhan episode where he led the mob of a particular community against Jats, or abuses hurled by him for Lord Ram openly or creating ruckus while remaining in the BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party),” Hans told HT. Terming Tinu’s candidature as an “unfortunate elevation”, Hans said Tinu had distributed pamphlets against him (Hans) in 2009 in a bid to divide the Balmiki community (from which Hans belongs) “just to defame me”, and that was “the reason behind my defeat”. “But it’s an irony that a leader who backstabbed the party in 2009 has been awarded with the chair of the Scheduled Castes commission, then made MLA; and has now got the LS ticket. What kind of party system is this?”
Seeking to draw SAD president and Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Badal’s attention, Hans argued that Tinu’s opposition had gone “unnoticed” even when it was party chief who had allotted the ticket. “Sukhbir-ji had asked me to contest polls after visiting my house. I never demanded it. Even then Tinu opposed me, and the high command is honouring him now,” the singer said.
Hans held a meeting of supporters, particularly from Ad-Dharmi and Balmiki communities, at his house on Tuesday. “My supporters urged me to oppose Tinu’s candidature. They said that in the last elections I’d received more than 3.6 lakh votes and I am still their leader. I respect the feelings of my supporters, but I am helpless. How I can revolt against my party?” Further claiming that he would stay in the SAD, he said that after Tinu was allotted the ticket, he received a call from PPCC chief Bajwa to join the Congress. “I got the offer after I was not even considered for the SAD ticket. You can check with Bajwa; I denied the offer categorically. How can I go against my brother Sukhbir who brought me into politics?”