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Stung, Balian quits SAD
To contest as Independent from Sangrur
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 11
Protesting against the allotment of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket from Sangrur to Mr Sanmukh Singh Mokha, an Akali leader from Sunam, Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, and MLA from Sangrur, today announced his resignation from the post of Minister of State as well as the primary membership of the party (SAD).

Mr Balian also announced that he would now contest the Assembly election from Sangrur as an Independent candidate because the top leadership of the party had assured him that ticket would be given to him. He said even Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary-general of the SAD, had promised to him some days ago if he (Balian) did not get the party ticket, he (Dhindsa) would not field his son, Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa from Sunam. But now, Mr Dhindsa had failed to keep his word, he lamented.

Mr Balian made the announcements of resigning from the ministership and the membership of the party at a gathering of hundreds of his supporters of the Sangrur Assembly constituency at the Kaula park market here today. Besides sarpanches, panches of this constituency, presidents of the Sangrur and Bhawanigarh Municipal Councils and Chairman of the Sangrur Market Committee participated in the gathering. The function was organised by Mr Balianís supporters to compel Mr Balian to announce his candidature as an Independent candidate.

In his resignation letter, Mr Balian stated that the party had done injustice to him by allotting the party ticket to such a person (Mr Sanmukh Singh Mokha) who had lowered the image of the party by becoming instrumental in the defeat of partyís secretary-general, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, in the February 1997 Assembly elections from Sunam. He said this proved that the party did not need loyal workers. And party ticket from Sangrur had been given to Mr Mokha just to ensure the victory of a son of a partyís top office-bearer (Mr Dhindsa), he alleged.

Mr Balian said he would bow to the sentiments of the gathering with regard to contesting the election. He assured his supporters that after winning the election he would decide all matters as per their wishes.

Earlier, most of the speakers accused Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa of not allotting the party ticket to Mr Balian, and said they would work for the defeat of Mr Mokha and victory of Mr Balian.Back

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