Patiala, November 11
Ahead of the Municipal Corporation and parliamentary elections, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has announced new district presidents for Patiala urban and rural in addition to halqa in-charge for Patiala (urban). The new appointments come ahead of the poll season and are likely to give a fillip to the Akali politics in the district.
The new appointments come with a stamp of approval from SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal. The leaders are expected to hold a show of strength soon.
Amrinder Sijngh Bazaz has been named new halqa in-charge for Patiala (Urban). Bazaz comes from a traditional Taksali Akali family and his father had served as Chairman of the Patiala Improvement Trust during the Akali regime. The Bazaz family holds a good clout with the urban Sikhs and also with the trader community of the city.
“I am thankful to the party president for giving me this opportunity to serve the people of Patiala. Our family has been with the Akali Dal for generations and we will continue to work for strengthening the party cadre,” said Bazaz. “Shiromani Akali Dal is the only party in Punjab which understands the problems and issues faced by the common man and we will raise those issues at every platform,” he said.
Youth leader Amit Rathi, who has worked hard in the Students Organization of India, the student wing of the SAD, has been named Patiala urban president. Rathi brings with him the participation of the youth and his appointment is likely to add the much needed vibrancy to the urban Akalis. “The whole aim is to take everyone together and ensure participation of the young and the elderly in all activities of the SAD,” said Rathi.
Meanwhile, Jarnail Singh Kartarpur has been made SAD (rural) president. Known to be a close confidant of former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, the SAD is eyeing the panthic vote with Kartarpur’s appointment in the rural segment.
With the Patiala (urban) seat covering 32 MC seats, the appointments hold significance as the new leaders will have a lot of say in the allotment of ticket for the MC poll. “Given the political equation and the fissures in the Congress and the BJP in the district, the SAD wants to make the most of it and gain some political ground in Patiala,” said a political observer.
Sources said last month, the SAD chief had visited the residence of Taksali SAD leader Indermohan Singh Bajaj, son of late jatehdar Manmohan Singh Bajaj, who was a close associate of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Indermohan’s son, Amrinder Singh Bazaz, was the Patiala Mayor during the SAD regime. “The SAD has given a clear signal that those who remain loyal to the party and can keep the party flock together will surely be promoted,” they said.
Former Cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakhra, who had unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha poll on SAD ticket, has been instrumental in getting these appointments and official stamp from the SAD president.
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