The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) think-tank is divided over booting out its Ferozepur MP Sher Singh Ghubaya even as the rebel Rai Sikh leader on Friday unfurled a banner of revolt against SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal in the wake of a sleazy video.
The political temperature of the poll-bound Punjab rose suddenly after a video clip allegedly that of Ghubaya in a compromising position began circulating on Friday morning.
Stunned by the expose, the SAD MP flanked by Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, who is in the fray from Jalalabad against Sukhbir Badal, held a news conference blaming his party chief Sukhbir Badal for leaking the “fake” video to “politically murder” him.
Ghubaya became a thorn in the flesh for the SAD after his son Davinder Ghubaya, 25, joined the Congress to contest February 4 election from Fazilka segment.
Ghubaya hails from a Rai Sikh community that has a majority in Jalalabad and Fazilka segments.
What has enraged the SAD leadership is the audacious attempt of Ghubaya who on Friday and for the first time directly attacked Sukhbir Badal. One section of the SAD think tank wanted Sukhbir to throw the MP out of the party. Another section’s opinion, however, was “not to take action” and let the MP “expose himself”.
“Ghubaya wants that party should sack him so that he becomes an independent MP in the Lok Sabha,” a SAD source said.
A top SAD leader said that in the Parliament, Ghubaya will be bound by the party whip. “If Ghubaya defies the party whip, he will be disqualified. That’s what we want. We will not fall into his trap.”
On the other hand and earlier in the day, SAD spokesperson Dr Daljit Singh Cheema dubbed Ghubaya’s stance as “serious act of indiscipline”. “This is an anti-party activity and party has taken a serious view of the matter,”
Dr Cheema said. It is understood that SAD’s core committee will discuss this issue.
The SAD MP has been at the loggerheads, especially with Sukhbir Badal, after vigilance bureau (VB) last month raided the Ghubaya College of Engineering and Technology at Sukhera Bodla village in Fazilka district in connection with alleged financial irregularities.
But, Ghubaya holding press conference with Congress’ Jalalabad candidate—post sleazy video clip leakage—has given a new twist to the SAD’s tussle with the Ferozepur MP.
The video clip has given SAD ammunition to clandestinely ambush the defiant MP. The timing of the video surfacing is significant as this development has potential to put Congress on the back foot.
SAD sources say before the steamy clip went viral, it was shown to certain SAD leaders on Thursday. Though the SAD think tank is divided over action against the defiant MP, they are on the same page over its well-oiled dirty tricks department exploiting the scandalous video to the hilt to demolish the adventurous Ghubaya beyond repair.