Jangveer Singh, Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 25. The focus of SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s attack is Paramjit Singh Sarna. On the campaign trail with Sukhbir in his bullet-proof Montero with a vehicle with jammers in tow, it is all about discrediting Sarna.
Sukhbir talks of “defiance” of the Akal Takht by Sarna and the need to punish the “gaddar (traitor)” . He also accuses him of attempting to divide the Sikhs on caste lines. At his first halt in Shalimar Bagh, the SAD president is mobbed by youngsters. “I have been meeting local Sikhs every week-end for the past more than five years and the results of our endeavour are for all to see,” he says. Accompanied by SAD Delhi wing president Avtar Singh Hit, Sukhbir addresses six public meetings well into the night, his last meeting being in Sarna’s constituency of Punjabi Bagh.
Sukhbir confidant Parambans Romana says the large turnout against SAD Delhi Pitampura candidate Bhajan Singh Walia, a DSGMC member for 18 years, signals the winds of change sweeping Delhi. Young Sikh voters claim it is the first time that Walia’s supremacy is being challenged.
Sukhbir tells voters that Sarna had colluded with those “behind anti-Sikh riots”, Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler. Back in his Montero, Sukhbir proceeds towards Rohini but decides to visit supporters in the Dharam Kunj apartment building in Sector 9. He is welcomed with rose petals.
Sukhbir meets heads of seven gurdwaras at the apartment building. All promise to back the SAD. Moving on, Sukhbir is welcomed by state BJP president Vijendra Gupta who claims the SAD president is the real leader of the Sikhs. He asks the gathering: ” Should I tell Sukhbjir ji he will get your votes? “. Each one in the audience raises his hand in response.
For Sukhbir, the focus is again Sarna. He says: “Ek toofan chal reha hai. Quam da toofan.” He claims that Sarna will be swept aside and will even lose his security deposit.
Sukhbir ends his campaign at Punjabi Bagh. Addressing a mammoth gathering along with constituency in charge Bikram Majithia and SAD candidate Manjinder Singh Sirsa, he takes the anti-Sarna rhetoric further. ” For the Sikhs, the Akal Takht is supreme and by defying the august body, Sarna has lost his right to Sikh vote,” he says.
“Anyone voting for Sarna is not a Guru ka Sikh”, he declares as he lampoons the election symbol of the SAD (Delhi).
“Sarna’s car will remain in the parking lot but our “balti” (iron bucket) is an intrinsic part of Guru ghar’s langar,” he says.