Attack on Kolianwali’s son and what it means for Shiromani Akali Dal
Known as party’s strongman, Kolianwali has remained a controversial figure and is always on the target of opposition parties, which accused the previous SAD government of harassing and victimising political opponents in Muktsar district.punjab Updated: Oct 25, 2017 14:56 IST
Former chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron Parkash Singh Badal’s second visit in two days to know the well-being of the injured son of the party’s Muktsar district president and SGPC member Dayal Singh Kolianwali underlines the latter’s importance and the political ramifications of the incident.
The importance of Kolianwali could be gauged from the fact that the Badal Senior had himself taken up with Punjab director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora the matter of the Kolianwali’s police security, which was reduced after the formation of the Congress government in the state.
SAD leaders feel that the attack on Kolianwali’s son Parminder Singh Kolianwali could lead to lowering the moral of party leaders and cadres across the state, which seems to have alarmed top Akali leaders, who thronged the hospital to call on Kolianwali.
Kolianwali considered Badal’s right hand
Kolianwali, who came from a modest peasantry background, now has a palatial house in Kolianwali village. He has been claiming that his family owned a huge chunk of land in Pakistan, in lieu of which they got land here after migration and that he has also acquired property through hard work. He was close to late SAD leader Jasvir Singh Kakhanwali of Lambi circle, who was close to Badals. After Kakhanwali’s death he came close to the Badal family. He started his political carrier as village sarpanch and is now third-time SGPC member. He is now considered Badal’s right hand in Akali circles.
A controversial figure
Known as party’s strongman, Kolianwali has remained a controversial figure and is always on the target of opposition parties, which accused the previous SAD government of harassing and victimising political opponents in Muktsar district.
His house was raided by sleuths of the income tax department in January 2012 before the assembly polls. Political parties have also been raising the issue of rapid rise in his wealth.
Friends turned foes
Kolianwali and Bakhseesh Singh, who is one of the accused in the attack on Kolianwali’s son, were once good friends when they were both in the SAD.
Due to emerging differences with Kolianwali and anticipating that the Congress will form government in the state, Bakhseesh joined the party ahead of 2012 assembly polls. The acrimony in their relations got intensified during the polls to the Malout municipal council in 2015.
Bakhseesh, who contested as Congress candidate, was defeated by SAD’s Sham Lal Gupta (Daddi) for whom Kolianwali worked hard. The polls witnessed violence, following which a case was slapped on Congress workers. The Sunday’s attack is seen as a sequel to that clash.
Daddi, who is an accused in the infamous recruitment scam in local bodies department that allegedly took place under the SAD-BJP government regime, is a close aide of Kolianwali.
Kolianwali said the attack on his son was the result of political vendetta as Bakhseesh had lost Malout MC polls in 2015 to the SAD candidate.
Congress leaders, including chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, and the Aam Aadmi Party had portrayed Kolianwali as the “kingpin” of the scam during the run-up to the assembly elections.
The allegations were denied by Kolianwali. The Punjab vigilance bureau, which is probing the scam, had also given a clean chit to Kolianwali in May this year.
Kolianwali, his son among five booked in cross-case
In a cross-case, the police have booked SAD district president Dyal Singh Kolianwali and four others in connection with the attack on his son.
Malout station house officer (SHO) Boota Singh said, “We have booked Dyal Singh Kolianwali, his son Parminder Singh, Navjinder Singh, Hardeep Deepa, Pardeep Singh under Sections 307, 323, 506, 148, 149 and 120 B of IPC.”
Parminder’s both legs were fractured in the attack on Sunday night wherein two supporters of Congress leaders were also injured. On Monday, the police booked 18 people, including Congress leaders Bakhseesh Singh and Shubhdeep Singh Bittu, under Sections 307, 323, 506, 148, 149 and 120 B of IPC and the Arms Act.