Stumped by the exit of Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who has joined as a cabinet minister in Uttar Pradesh, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders have initiated efforts to strengthen the party cadre in the district.
As the first step towards this, SAD district in-charge Ujjagar Singh held a meeting with party councillors.
Ramoowalia’s move has also added weight to the demand of having a local leader as the constituency in-charge. The local leadership had been sulking ever since Ramoowalia was brought in as a “parachute candidate” in 2012 to contest the assembly elections, while ignoring the local party workers.
Sources said the councillors and other party workers present at the meeting made it clear that they would not tolerate this ‘aaya ram, gaya ram’ politics (politics of opportunism) that had tarnished the party’s image. The party workers reportedly told the senior leadership that they would work towards strengthening the party cadre to contest the elections in 2017 with a local leader at the forefront.
“The SAD is in a strong position and the betrayal of Balwant Singh Ramoowalia will not affect the party. We have been working day in and day out for welfare of residents and are bound to get positive results,” said Youth Akali Dal president Harman Preet Singh Prince.
BJP pushes for SAS Nagar seat
While the SAD is working towards strengthening the party cadre in the district, the alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party is pushing for its candidate from SAS Nagar. BJP councillors are making a case for giving the SAS Nagar seat to them, stating that the alliance was suffering due to strong “groupism” within the SAD. BJP councillors claim that with the elections fast approaching, there is a need to take the right decision at the right time to save the alliance from further loss.