Two Congress leaders quit party to join SAD

Two Congress leaders quit party to join SAD

In a blow to Punjab Congress, two of its senior leader resigned from the party and joined the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday.

Congress MLA Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu from Talwandi Saboo Assembly seat and former minister Malkiat Singh Birmi joined the SAD in the presence of party president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal here.

Sidhu, a prominent leader in the Malwa region of Punjab, once remained a close confidant of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Sukhbir welcomed both the Congress leaders into the party fold and described their decision as a “major development” in the Punjab politics. Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Charanjeet Singh Atwal said he had received Sidhu’s resignation as MLA and it had been accepted.

Earlier, Congress legislator Joginderpal Jain and former minister Avtar Singh Brar had also joined Akali Dal and were rewarded with plum positions by the party. Asked about his decision to join the SAD, Sidhu said Congress in Punjab and at the Centre was on a suicidal path.

“The Congress top leaderships’ non-decisiveness is having a direct impact on workers in Punjab,” he said, adding state Congress Chief Partap Singh Bajwa was taking unilateral decisions like in the case of Peoples Party of Punjab supremo Manpreet Singh Badal.

Manpreet, former finance minister of the Badal government, is contesting from Bathinda against his sister-in-law and sitting MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal with the backing of Congress.

“The decision to support Manpreet by Congress is uncalled for by the top Congress leadership. This decision had been taken without taking Punjab Congress MLAs into confidence, particularly those from Malwa region,” he said.