28 ex-councillors, local leaders resign from SAD in former Mohali mayor Kulwant’s support
A day after Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal expelled former Mohali mayor Kulwant Singh from the party, 28 local leaders, including office-bearers and former councillors, also tendered their resignation on Sunday and said they will be contesting the upcoming municipal elections under the banner of Azad group led by the former mayor.
Of the 28 members, eight were holding party posts at various levels in the district.
Kulwant had raised the banner of revolt against the party by deciding to contest the elections independently along with other former SAD councillors. The elections are scheduled on February 14.
The group is now gearing up for the polls and have opened their office in Sector 78.
“We paid obeisance at the Sohana gurdwara before starting our new innings,” said Kulwant. “The screening of candidates is going on and we are hopeful of announcing the final list soon.”
Parvinder Singh Sohana, who resigned from the post of president, Youth Akali Dal, Mohali, said: “We gave everything to the party, but they back-stabbed and humiliated us. We will not even have any post-election alliance with SAD.”
Blaming former member parliament Prem Singh Chandumajra for this debacle, former Akali councillor RP Sharma alleged: “He is hand in gloves with Congress and will help them in winning the elections.”
Another former councillor, Surinder Singh, said that it was difficult for them to resign after having “sacrificed our entire life to SAD”. “But we were helpless as we were not heard. There were several issues that forced us to contest the elections independently,” he said.
On Saturday, SAD expelled Kulwant from its primary membership after recommendations from senior leader Prem Singh Chandumajra, who stated that he was involved in anti-party activities.
In the 2015 elections, Kulwant had led the Azad group (of independents) and won 10 seats. With the support of Congress, he was elected the mayor. Later, in 2017, he joined SAD. The five-year term of the House ended on April 26 last year. Last week, SAD had officially declared a list of 28 candidates (all of whom were former councillors) for the upcoming elections, but on January 11, 22 of them sided with Kulwant.
With the latest development, a four-cornered fight awaits the MC polls. In the fray are SAD, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Kulwant’s group. The splinter Akali group floated by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has opted out of the elections and will support AAP candidates and independents.