World Sikh News – Changing horizons of political parties and players on Panjab

Prabhdial Singh Saini

Published 2 weeks ago

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has lost its credibility in Punjab after the Bargari sacrilege and Behbal Kalan police killings. The Sikhs in Punjab voted Congress in an act of revenge against the Badals. WSN columnist Prabhdial Singh Saini reflects upon the possibilities of political change in Punjab and points out that it would be interesting to see who will Narendra Modi and Amit Shah bless, overtly the Akalis or covertly Amarinder Singh?

In its upbeat mood, should the Bhartiya Janta Party break its alliance with the Badal Dal, in the coming times, the urban population in Punjab will shift towards the BJP. The equation may change overnight.

Notwithstanding the induction of one minister from the Akali Dal and one from the BJP in Punjab in the Narendra Modi cabinet, the BJP is already eyeing this and its thinking minions are working on this on the drawing board.

The per­formance of the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) and of AAP has been pretty dismal. The AAP could have been an alternative but it is al­most finished in Punjab due to adamant attitude of Kejriwal and other Delhi-based leaders. Honesty alone does not win you electoral battles.

In 2022 assem­bly elections, the BJP may wipe out Congress from Punjab. The writing is on the wall. Already the RSS has made in­roads into many Sikh institutions. As the Badal Dal stands weakened and new Sikh leaders waiting in the wings to join the BJP, there is no stopping them.

Many known names are likely to become BJP or non-BJP but BJP-blessed-faces in Punjab, the first taste of which are likely to get in the SGPC elections, likely to be held before the Assembly polls.

If Punjab CM Amarinder Singh punishes the guilty of Behbal Kalan and Bargari Kalan, Sikhs may stay aligned with the Congress. There are indications of this in the charge sheet filed by the SIT, but still, we have to keep our fingers crossed till the final curtains are drawn.

The people in Punjab are now in a mood to support that party with full zeal and spirit, which will finish the Badals and reinvigorate the demands and interests of the people of the state. It may be the Congress or the BJP. There is some space for a third party but who will that be, depends upon many permutations and combinations of various groups.

With BJP in power at the centre and his pro-BJP stance, will the Punjab CM have the courage to do that? It appears that Amarinder Singh to is also waiting for a signal from Modi. Most probably, Modi will get the Badals finished politically only through Captain Amarinder.

SGPC Elections, whenever they happen, will be a good indicator of what the political scene will be in the coming times.

Changing Horizons of Political Parties and Players on Punjab

The Tribune – SAD ex-chief Tur’s grandson joins PEP

Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran – Panjab – India, 23 March 2019. The election campaign of Paramjit Kaur Khalra, candidate of the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) from Khadur Sahib Lok Sabha constituency, got a shot in the arm today when Shamsher Singh Tur, grandson of late Mohan Singh Tur who was a former SAD president, joined Sukhpal Singh Khaira-led Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP).

On the occasion, Tur village sarpanch Dail Singh and a majority of the members of the gram panchayat too joined PEP.

An event in this regard was organised in Tur village, 20 km from Tarn Taran today, in which workers of the RMPI, BSP too participated.

On the occasion, Khaira sharply condemned the Congress, SAD and the BJP, besides AAP, for not protecting the interests of Sikhs and the state.

Paramjit Kaur’s husband Jaswant Singh Khalra was an activist who was killed by policemen more than 30 years back for raising his voice against the alleged disappearance of Sikh youths and their fake encounter by the police during the militancy period in the state.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Khaira urged the voters that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections were crucial and their mandate would show that either they acknowledged the sacrifice of Jaswant Singh Khalra (human rights activist and Paramjit Kaur’s husband) or accepted the “anti-people policies” of the successive state governments.

He told the people that it was important to protect the interests of the state. Other speakers too urged the people to come forward to vote and support Paramjit Kaur.

The Tribune – Khaira says will contest from Bathinda

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 16 March 2019. Punjabi Ekta Party leader Sukhpal Khaira today announced his decision to contest from the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat, currently held by SAD’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal, as a joint candidate of the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA).

The alliance comprises Punjabi Ekta Party, BSP, Lok Insaaf Party, CPI and Revolutionary Marxist Party of India and Dr Dharamvira Gandhi’s Punjab Manch.

Khaira said if Harsimrat changes her seat to Ferozepur, the PDA might consider fielding Lok Insaaf Party’s Simarjit Singh Bains from there.

He said while Ferozepur had been allocated to the CPI, Bains had evinced interest in contesting the seat.

He urged the SAD (Taksali) to withdraw their candidate General J J Singh (retd) from Khadoor Sahib in support of PDA’s Paramjit Kaur Khalra.

The Tribune – AAP rebels, LIP form alliance

With BSP on board, ‘Jamhoori Gathjorh’ to contest Lok Sabha elections

Aman Sood, Tribune News Service

Mehmadpur (Patiala) – Panjab – India, 16 December 2018. Suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi, rebel AAP MLAs led by Sukhpal Khaira, and Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) leaders today announced the formation of ‘Jamhoori Gathjorh’ or the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with the support of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The leaders’ nine-day ‘Insaaf March’, which had begun from Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, on December 8, ended at the Mehmadpur grain market after covering 180 km and 54 villages.

Asserting that a pro-Punjab political outfit was the need of the hour, the leaders vowed to continue seeking justice in the cases of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and the Behbal Kalan police firing.

“In case justice is not delivered, we will announce an action plan on the occasion of Maghi Mela in January,” they added.

“We will welcome a tie-up with all parties which believe in the Constitution. We thank the BSP and the Lok Insaaf Party for their support. Our alliance will ensure that the SGPC is freed from the clutches of the Akali Dal, while the ‘failed’ Congress leadership in the state is made answerable,” said Khaira.

“These corrupt parties and leaders have ruined a glorious state like Punjab, which is now facing a colossal debt of Rs 2.5 lakh crore. Farmers and farm labourers are committing suicide, while lakhs of unemployed youth have taken to drugs or are moving abroad because of hopelessness and frustration,” he added.

Dr Gandhi accused the Centre of infringing upon the rights of the states. He said the larger aim of the PDA would be to strive for a federal India and democratic Punjab.

Simarjit Bains, LIP president, said the Congress government in the state had failed to redress the grievances of small and medium industries and its workers.

“So-called relief of Rs 5 per unit of electricity benefited a few hundred large industrial houses, while more than 30,000 smaller industries are paying higher charges,” he said.

State BSP president Rashpal Raju said the weaker sections and Dalits were being exploited through politically motivated welfare schemes, while they were being denied their right to quality education, healthcare, affordable housing and employment.

Besides Khaira, the AAP MLAs present were Kanwar Sandhu, Jagdev Singh, Najar Singh, Jagtar Singh, Pirmal Singh and Baldev Singh.

AAP had suspended Dr Gandhi in 2015 and Khaira in November this year. LIP MLAs Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains had parted ways with AAP in March.

‘Will seek justice in sacrilege cases’

Asserting that a pro-Punjab outfit was the need of the hour, the leaders vowed to continue seeking justice in cases of sacrilege and the Behbal Kalan police firing. “In case justice is not delivered, we will announce an action plan on the occasion of Maghi Mela in January,” they added.