M A I N   N E W S

Lalpura quits SAD panel
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Tarn Taran, March 4
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today suffered a big setback when octogenarian party leader and former SGPC chief Prem Singh Lalpura today resigned from Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the highest decision making body of the party, in protest against fielding an ‘outsider’ for the Tarn Taran Lok Sabha seat.

Mr Lalpura said this was for the first time that a sitting Member of Parliament, Mr Tarlochan Singh Tur, who belonged to a family which had made supreme sacrifices for the sake of the panth, was denied ticket without assigning any reason.

Mr Badal, however, said the resignation had been accepted in anticipation though he had not received it as yet.

SAD sources said, Mr Lalpura had pre-empted the move of the party as he (Mr Lalpura) was likely to be sacked for supporting Mr Tur who was recently expelled from the party for his ‘anti-party’ activities.

Mr Lalpura told TNS that it was unfortunate that Mr Badal had scant respect for dedicated party workers. He had been promoting members of his own family at the cost of senior party leaders.

Mr Lalpura had been inducted into the PAC after rapprochement reached between Mr Badal and Mr Gurcharn Singh Tohra.

Describing Dr Rattan Singh, an official candidate of the SAD from the Tarn Taran parliamentary constituency as ‘an outsider’, Mr Lalpura alleged that ‘wrong distribution’ of party ticket had shocked senior leaders and caused a lot of resentment among the grass-root workers.

Mr Lalpura is known for his rebellious attitude. It was he, who had once opposed the leadership of legendary Sikh leader Master Tara Singh in the early sixties. Later, he had openly opposed the Rajiv- Longowal accord in 1985. The SAD had to face byelection in 1998 when Mr Lalpura had refused to enter in Parliament after winning from the Tarn Taran Lok Sabha constituency. Again he was inducted into the SAD and won the Assembly election on party ticket in 1997.

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