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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Dakha bypoll: SAD’s Ayali files papers, promises to continue serving constituency

He was MLA from constituency from 2012 to 2017; lost to Phoolka in 2017 elections

chandigarh Updated: Sep 27, 2019 22:42 IST
Mohit Khanna
Mohit Khanna
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali, 44, filed his nomination papers for the Dakha assembly constituency bypoll here on Friday. The seat had fallen vacant following the resignation of Aam Aadmi party (AAP) leader HS Phoolka. 

Ayali, who was accompanied by state BJP general secretary Parveen Bansal, senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia, Sahnewal MLA Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Santa Singh Umaidpur, Hira Singh Gabria and youth leaders Prabhjot Singh and Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal, reached the mini-secretariat at 11 am. 

Ayali, who had remained MLA from the same constituency from 2012 to 2017, was defeated by AAP leader Phoolka during the 2017 polls. 

Ayali faces Congress candidate Sandeep Singh Sandhu, Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) candidate Sukhdev Singh Chak and AAP’s Amandeep Singh Mohie. The constituency has a population of 2.7 lakh, including 1.7 lakh voters. 

Ayali, who hails from Gorsian Kadar Baksh in Jagraon tehsil, owns movable assets worth over ₹3.4 crore, while he has labilities of over ₹2.7 crore.  

He said he was confident of winning the election owing to his work over the past five years, especially the building of 70 ultra-modern sports stadiums in the constituency.  “I will continue to serve the constituency, whether elected or not,” he added.

“From multi-purpose parks, upgrading the hospital, veterinary hospital, setting up of the Ambedkar Bhawan to increasing the area of the grain market. I have tried my best to ensure best facilities to residents of Dakha,” said Ayali. 

“People have already started missing the SAD-BJP government. Be it flyovers or elevated roads, all ongoing projects were initiated by the Akali regime. There was a campaign to tarnish the party’s image to divert attention from real issues, but the bubble of falsehood has burst,” claimed Ayali. 

He said the Congress had made announcements worth ₹100 crore, but nothing happened on the ground. There was a village that was promised ₹4 crore, but it got only ₹4 lakh, he added. 


Terming Congress pick Sandeep Singh Sandhu as a soft boy in politics, Majithia said, “The Congress sidelined many local leaders such as Major Singh Bhaini and Jasbir Singh Khungra and a parachute candidate, Sandhu, who had never stepped out of the air-conditioned office, was given a ticket. It shows nepotism in the Congress and the acute paucity of competent candidates.” 

“Like Phooka, Sandhu will also say goodbye to the people of Dakha if he is elected,” said Majithia. 

While avoid commenting on Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) chief Simarjeet Bains, Majithia accused AAP as the B-team of the Congress in the state. 



It appears that all is not well within the SAD. Party spokesperson Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal was conspicuous by his absence. It was not the first time that Grewal had skipped an important event. he had skipped a political rally at the Chappar Mela, which was presided over by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Sources said Grewal was upset with Ayali over poor performance of SAD during the Lok Sabha elections. Grewal, who was a party candidate during the Lok Sabha election, had got 28,896 votes in the Dakha constituency and finished third after LIP candidate Bains and Congress’ Ravneet Singh Bittu. 


First Published: Sep 27, 2019 22:42 IST

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