SAD stands for amity in Punjabi society, says Anil Joshi : The Tribune India

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SAD stands for amity in Punjabi society, says Anil Joshi

SAD stands for amity in Punjabi society, says Anil Joshi

SAD candidate Anil Joshi addresses mediapersons at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, April 14

Hours after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) announced former Cabinet minister Anil Joshi as its candidate from the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, Joshi said that he stood for social harmony among Punjabis and overall development of the border district.

The SAD is independently contesting the seat for the first time which had traditionally been held by the BJP while in alliance with the SAD. Political observers stated that SAD is implementing its moderate Punjabi agenda which was adopted in the 1996 conference held at Moga when the SAD dropped its Panthic image. As part of this agenda, Anil Joshi has been fielded from the Amritsar seat.

Elected twice as an MLA from the Amritsar North constituency, Joshi said he had come to Guru Sahibs seeking their blessings to permit him to carry out sewa so that he could once again go to the people. He added that he was lucky to live in this city which was blessed by Guru Ramdas. He congratulated people on the occasion of Khalsa Sirjana Diwas and Baisakhi.

Three years after joining the SAD, he has been selected to represent the party from the prominent Amritsar Lok Sabha seat from where the BJP and AAP have fielded Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, respectively. The Congress is yet to disclose its candidate from the Amritsar seat.

Within 40 days after being expelled for six years by the BJP for anti-party activities, Anil Joshi had joined the SAD on August 20, 2021. At that time, he was disheartened that his party had shown him the door after he had put in 35 years of life in its service. In a two-page reply to the notice served by the BJP, he had favoured that the Centre should talk to farmers and resolve the matter as per their satisfaction. In addition, he had favoured resolution of farmers’ grievances to maintain harmony among communities living peacefully in Punjabi society.

Talking to the Tribune, Joshi, who had been a Minister for Local Bodies, Medical Education and Research in the erstwhile SAD-BJP coalition government, said he preferred to join the SAD over other parties as being a regional party, it knew the pulse of Punjabis besides standing for ‘Bhaicharak Sanjh’ (communal harmony).

Earlier, his political career had seen a meteoric rise out of the slugfest between Navjot Singh Sidhu and SAD leaders Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia. Once a close ally of Sidhu in the BJP, relations between Joshi and Sidhu had turned sour. Anil Joshi was made a minister in the then SAD-BJP government.

On May 25, 2023, a local court had acquitted Joshi in an alleged criminal trespass case filed by an advocate Vaneet Mahajan in 2012. Mahajan had accused the Municipal Corporation officials of razing his legally constructed portion of a hotel located on Batala road, allegedly at the behest of Joshi.

Born in Tarn Taran’s Sanghe village, Anil Joshi’s father Kishori Lal, a retired government teacher, was killed by terrorists in 1991. He did farming at the family agricultural land in his village and later went into textile business.

He became the district president of Bajrang Dal in 1988 and joined the RSS. He was associated with the Ram Janam Bhoomi Mandir movement of 1990 and took a large group of Ram Bhakts along with him to Ayodhya. He became the Mandal Pradhan of Bharatiya Janata Party, Tarn Taran. In 2002, he became the district president of Bharatiya Janata Party, Amritsar rural unit, and two years later in 2004 Lok Sabha elections, he became an aide of Navjot Singh Sidhu who won the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

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