Set back to Congress:Ex-mayor Vishnu Sharma, supporters join Akali Dal | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Set back to Congress:Ex-mayor Vishnu Sharma, supporters join Akali Dal

The two-day secret exercise of Shiromani Akali Dal President and deputy CM Sukhbir Badal on Wednesday unfolded with a blow to the Congress as Captain Amarinder Singh's loyalist and former Patiala mayor Vishnu Sharma along with his supporters joined the panthic party.

punjab Updated: Apr 24, 2014 00:40 IST
Vishal Rambani

The two-day secret exercise of Shiromani Akali Dal President and deputy CM Sukhbir Badal on Wednesday unfolded with a blow to the Congress as Captain Amarinder Singh's loyalist and former Patiala mayor Vishnu Sharma along with his supporters joined the panthic party.

Vishnu is brother of IAS office SK Sharma and PPS officer Narender Bhargav and the trio had called shots in the 2002-07 Congress government by holding key positions.

A protégé of Captain Amarinder, Sharma and Bhargav, till recent held key posts in the SAD-BJP government. Sharma served as director, local bodies and Bhargav as SSP of various police districts. However, both are presently sidelined by government.

Sukhbir presented a siropa to Vishnu and his supporters to induct them into the party and said: "I have promised that SAD will won the Patiala seat this time and this is step towards the goal".

Sukhbir, for first time, is personally showing interests in the Patiala Lok Sabha seat as in last two elections contested by SAD candidate Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Prem Singh Chandhumajra, he didn't madeenough personal efforts.

Sukhbir said that "all leaders have joined without any pre-condition and SAD will give due respect to all". He said the Congress had ignored the Hindu community, whereas the Akalis have 11 Hindu MLAs.

Apart from Vishnu, Gurdev Singh Punia, Baljit Kaur Punia, Monika Grover, Sharda Devi, Pawan Nagrath (all former municipal councillors), youth Congress rural president Vinod Arora Kalu, district general secretary Dalbir Singh and others also joined the SAD.

The exodus of these leaders is definitely a setback to Congress candidate Preneet Kaur, who is facing tough time in view of the challenge by the Aam Aadmi Party.

Responding to queries of the media, Sukhbir said that the SAD-BJP combine candidate from Patiala Deepinder Singh Dhillon would win the seat with more a margin of more than one lakh votes.

Vishnu Sharma said that the Congress had deliberately ignored the Hindu community all along. He said that though the matter was brought to the notice of All Indian Congress Committee General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed and other senior leaders but didn't took interest in the problem.

Commenting on the development, Preneet Kaur camp said that it was a good riddance. "Vishnu had already lost his clout. While he was a mayor he was defeated by an independent candidate in MC elections. In fact, the workers has welcomed his exit, as he was always backstabbing the party for the last seven years", read a statement issued by KK Sharma and other Congress leaders.