I did not leave SAD, they expelled me, says former Mohali mayor
After parting ways with Shiromani Akali Dal on January 11, former Mohali mayor Kulwant Singh was expelled from its membership for anti-party activities. Now, he will be leading the Azad group, comprising former Akali leaders who have resigned in his support, in the upcoming municipal elections. Kulwant had earlier left SAD ahead of the first MC House elections in 2015 after denial of party tickets to his loyalists. He became the mayor with Congress support and later went back into the Akali fold in 2017. HT talks to him about his past tenure, flip-flops and future plans:
Why did you decide to part ways with SAD and contest elections independently?
First of all, I did not speak anything against the party, but they still expelled me. As far as contesting the elections independently is concerned, all former councillors and local SAD leaders wanted that and they took the decision to do so under my leadership.
SAD gave you the ticket for the Lok Sabha elections from Fathehgarh Sahib in 2014? You still ditched them. Why?
I want to make it clear that I owe everything to the party. You show me any statement given against the party.
Will you join hands with SAD or Congress after elections?
It is too early to say anything, as I am still in a shock over my expulsion. Our main motive is development of the city, which we will do by all means.
One thing that you wished to do as the mayor in your last term, but could not?
I always wanted Mohali to be most beautiful in the tricity. I tried my level best, and to some extent, we achieved it. Another aim was to provide better basic amenities to all residents.
Did you face any challenge from other party councillors in your last term?
I should appreciate that all 50 councillors of Congress, SAD and BJP never opposed any development agenda for the city, and rather supported me. In the next term, we will be taking the city to new heights.
Your relationship with Punjab cabinet minister Balbir Singh Sidhu always remained strained. Your comments?
There are political differences with the local MLA, but not personal. Also, the people of Mohali know as to who carried out development works in the city in last few years. Look at the roads and parks under the civic body.