Former minister Surjit Singh Kohli has been appointed president of the Patiala (urban) unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Kohli, who has a stronghold in the urban Sikh community here, was sidelined after the formation of the SAD-BJP government in 2012, and even his son Ajitpal Singh Kohli was not re-appointed mayor even though he won the elections.
Kohli had won the Patiala (urban) seat for the SAD in 1997 and remained a cabinet minister. After that, he had lost thrice to Captain Amarinder Singh, who was ever time the CM Candidate of the Congress. In the 2014 bypoll, the SAD had denied him ticket and pitted Bhagwan Dass Juneja, who also lost to Congress candidate Preneet Kaur.
The appointment of Kohli is being seen to strike a balance between various SAD factions. He has replaced Indermohan Singh Bajaj. Bajajs and Kohlis are traditional rivals within the party.
Talking to mediapersons, Kohli thanked party president Sukhbir Singh Badal for showing faith in him and said that he would take all possible measures to strengthen the party in Patiala and will involve all for the party work.