The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) district unit has decided to boycott the December 14 Sadbhawna rally, which alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is going to organise at Goindwal Sahib in Khadoor Sahib assembly constituency.
Terming the event as “Durbhawna” (ill-will) rally”, BJP district president Navreet Singh Shafipur said the SAD illtreated the district BJP workers. On February 11, local Akali workers allegedly manhandled and shot at BJP district vicepresident Raja Joshi, brother of Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi, outside the office of the subdivisional magistrate (SDM) here.
The clash was over the delimitation of wards for the municipal council elections. The BJP alleged that Tarn Taran Akali legislator Harmeet Singh Sandhu had backed the attackers. The BJP leadership took a serious note of it and the Akalidominated government had to form special investigation team (SIT), though it failed to submit its report. The BJP workers continue to allege injustice.
Expressing his anger against chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Shafipur said the CM was on sangat darshan (public contact) tours in the district since November 26 but not once had come to the BJP workers to look into their grievances against the SAD members. “The SAD is organising rallies across the state in the name of upholding ‘Sadbhawna’ but showing ‘durbhawna’ to its alliance partner,” he told HT.
“Badal knows very well what happened to the local BJP leaders. He must have watched the video of how Sandhu’s men attacked Raja Joshi and other BJP activists; but while he has not taken any action, even the attempt-to-murder case has also been withdrawn. The SIT has failed to deliver us justice,” said the district BJP president. Asked if he would support the SAD in 2017 assembly elections, he said if SAD fielded Sandhu, the BJP would even campaign against him.
NO CONFLICT, SAYS BADAL
Asked to react, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was here to attend the sangat darshan programmes in the Khadoor Sahib assembly constituency, ruled out any conflict between the SAD and the BJP, and said they could resolve their internal issues.
“As the district BJP unit is close to Anil Joshi and the boycott decision is taken with his consent, he is likely to skip the rally, which might hit the Akali-BJP relations,” said a source.