Akali Dal expels former Mohali mayor Kulwant Singh
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday expelled former Mohali mayor Kulwant Singh for “anti-party activities”.
Kulwant had raised the banner of revolt against the party by deciding to contest the municipal elections independently along with other former SAD councillors. The elections are scheduled on February 14.
Party senior vice-president Daljit Singh Cheema in a statement issued on Saturday said that the party president has expelled Kulwant from its primary membership. The action, he said, was taken after recommendations from senior leader Prem Singh Chandumajra, who stated that Kulwant was involved in anti-party activities.
Former Akali councillors back Kulwant
Meanwhile, all former SAD councillors came out in support of Kulwant Singh, who said that there is no going back now.
“We all will contest the elections as independents. The candidates will be announced in a day or two,” he said.
Former Akali councillor RP Sharma said: “We are supporting Kulwant Singh by all means, and will be tendering resignations from our posts and primary membership of the party.”
Paramjeet Singh Kahlon, another former councillor, said that the party leadership held a four-hour-long meeting with them, “but failed to convince us”.
“We are with Kulwant Singh and will contest the elections as independents under his leadership,” he said.
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.