The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) suspended its two legislators—Pargat Singh and Inderbir Bolaria—who had raised the banner of revolt against the party, on Tuesday. Both are likely to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), it is learnt.
Pargat represents Jalandhar Cantonment segment and Bolaria is an MLA from Amritsar (south) constituency. SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal took this step pre-empting the damage to the party in the event of the two legislators saying goodbye.
Pargat described his suspension as “good riddance” and Bolaria said he was not surprised by the move.
The former Indian hockey captain, Pargat had refused to become chief parliamentary secretary in April, hours before the swearing-in ceremony, leaving the chief minister red-faced. Bolaria, who was the CPS at that time, was stripped off the post.
The SAD had attempted to placate Pargat by offering him the CPS post that he refused to accept till the issues of his constituencies were not resolved.
The opposition to proposed solid waste management plants in their constituencies is at the root of the distrust between the SAD and the two legislators.
In a statement, the SAD said: “After continuously watching anti-party behaviour of the two leaders, senior leaders advised party chief Sukhbir Badal to deal indiscipline with a firm hand.”
“The next course of action will be decided by the SAD’s core committee that will meet shortly,” said SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema, pointing out that suspending the duo was aimed at giving a strong signal that indiscipline in the party will not be tolerated.
In the run-up to the 2012 assembly polls, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal had handpicked Pargat, who joined SAD after resigning from the post of sports director and as superintendent of police (SP).
On the other hand, Bolaria was considered close to revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia.
Both Pargat and Bolaria have good rapport among their constituents. Talks were doing rounds that Pargat and Bolaria will soon ditch the SAD and were exploring options of joining either AAP or the Congress.
“There is no democracy left in the SAD and whosoever dares to raise the voice is shunted out,” Pargat said. “It is not democracy but dandacracy (stick wielding) . If raising the issue of lack of development and opposing waste management plant in my constituency is indiscipline, then I am guilty,” said Pargat, adding that people like him didn’t suit the SAD. Bolaria said he had left the SAD long time back .
“I will stand by any party that supports the cause of my constituency,” he said.