SAD’s Feb 2 Sangrur rally: Party, Dhindsas working at cross-purposes
Sangrur Six days ahead of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD’s) rally in Sangrur, the home turf of the Dhindsa family, against the Congress government’s alleged failure to deliver on all fronts in Punjab, political activity has intensified. The party and the supporters of Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa are both busy drumming up support for and against the rally, respectively.
Senior SAD leaders, such as Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal; SAD MLAs’ leader in assembly, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, and former party MP Prem Singh Chandumajra have been holding meetings in both districts. Even the party’s Dakha MLA, Manpreet Ayali, is active in the region.
As a counter, rebel SAD MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa is also organising meetings of his supporters in the region. Parminder addressed a meeting of his supporters in the SGPC president’s home town, Longowal, on Monday and claimed that party workers wanted to remove SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal from the post. Later, Parminder told HT, “Those who are supporting us and attended the meeting at Longowal are, obviously, against the continuation of Sukhbir as party president and will not attend the SAD rally. Even the SGPC needs to be freed of Badals’ control. Over 90% of the party’s workers stand by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.”
SAD, however, claims otherwise. “All SAD leadership stands by its president Sukhbir. The February 2 rally will see a huge gathering against the failure of the Captain Amarinder Singh government. Senior party leaders are addressing Halqa-level meetings and consolidating party cadre against the state government’s false promises,” claimed party spokesperson, Winnerjit Singh Goldy, adding, “Party workers from Sangrur and Barnala will participate in the rally. The state leadership of SAD will reach the town in protest.” On Sunday, Chandumajra had held a meeting with party workers in Sunam; Dhillon and Longowal had also addressed meetings in Malerkotla and Longowal last week.