Already lagging behind its main rival Shiromani Akali Dal in campaigning for Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat, the Congress received a major setback on Thursday when former state general secretary of Punjab Youth Congress Monty Sehgal joined SAD in the presence of party president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Sehgal, who is considered a key strategist of Congress candidate from Jalandhar and former minister Chaudhary Santokh Singh, has been associated with the Chaudhary family for long and is one of the closest friends of Chaudhary’s son and state youth Congress president, Vikram Chaudhary. Sources said it is only because of the strained relations between Vikram and Sehgal, that the latter decided to leave the Congress and joined SAD.
Sehgal’s entry into SAD is being seen in political circles as a serious setback for the Chaudhary family as he has been lyal to the family even after Santokh lost the 2012 assembly elections from Phillaur. According to a senior Congress leader, Sehgal has played an important role for the elevation of Vikram Chaudhary as the state Youth Congress chief.