Sukhdev Singh Dhindsas’ silence may cost Akalis dear : The Tribune India

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Sukhdev Singh Dhindsas’ silence may cost Akalis dear

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsas’ silence may cost Akalis dear

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and (right) his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa. FILE



Sushil Goyal

Sangrur, May 20

Following the decision of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son, former Cabinet Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, to not campaign for the SAD candidate from the Sangrur Lok Sabha (LS) constituency Iqbal Singh Jhundan, thousands of supporters and loyalists of the Dhindsa family have also turned away from campaigning in the constituency, spread over nine assembly segments.

In such a situation, the silence of the Dhindsa family may cost the SAD dear in the elections in Sangrur LS constituency.

The decision to not campaign in favour of the Sangrur SAD candidate was taken after a meeting of party workers and supporters from the constituency, held at Dhindsa’s residence here on April 20. Party workers and supporters were annoyed over the denial of the party ticket for the Sangrur LS seat to Parminder Singh Dhindsa by the SAD high command.

On that day, the loyalists of the family announced that they would rather sit at home than campaign for the SAD candidate.

Dhindsa also announced that his supporters would not campaign in favour of the SAD candidate. However, they would not oppose the party in the LS elections, he added.

In light of that decision, besides Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Parminder Singh Dhindsa, loyalists of the Dhindsa family have not been canvassing for the SAD candidate for the past four weeks, including rallies by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal at Sunam and Dhuri, and the ‘Punjab Bachao Yatra’ in Barnala district.

A senior SAD leader, on the condition of anonymity, said the silence of the Dhindsa family had been adversely affecting the election campaign and prospects of the SAD candidate in the elections.

Due to the silence of the Dhindsa family, several other leaders, who are also unhappy over denial of party ticket to Parminder Singh Dhindsa, had been campaigning half-heartedly for the SAD candidate as they did not want to face the ire of the party high command, the leader added.

A source close to the Dhindsa family said the supporters of the family had not even been campaigning for the SAD’s Bathinda candidate Harsimrat Kaur Badal in her constituency. Another loyalist of Dhindsa family, who is a former MLA, said SAD’s Patiala candidate NK Sharma and SAD’s candidate for Anandpur Sahib Prem Singh Chandumajra had approached the SAD patron Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, urging him to ask his supporters and loyalists to extend their support to them in the elections.

Several people are of the opinion that if Parminder Singh Dhindsa contested the LS election from Sangrur on SAD’s ticket, the constituency could have witnessed an interesting and fierce fight as the Dhindsa family has the ability and strength to contest the elections in an effective manner.

When Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa contested the LS elections in 2004, 2009 and 2014 from Sangrur, the entire Dhindsa family — Dhindsa’s wife, son and daughter-in-law, two daughters and their husbands — backed him by way of assuming different duties.

In the 2004 LS elections, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, as a candidate of the SAD, won the Sangrur seat, defeating Congress candidate Arvind Khanna.

In 2009, however, Dhindsa tasted defeat at the hands of Congress candidate Vijay Inder Singla, while in 2014 he was defeated by AAP candidate Bhagwant Mann.

In the 2019 LS elections, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, as a candidate of the SAD, also suffered defeat.

#Lok Sabha #Sangrur #Shiromani Akali Dal #Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa


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