Libra resigns from Parliament to avoid anti-defection action

Castigated by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for defying the party whip during trust vote on July 22,2008,Sukhdev Singh Libra has resigned from Parliament.

Written by Nitin Jain | Mohali | Published: March 26, 2009 1:42 am

Claims overwhelming support as Congress nominee

Castigated by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for defying the party whip during trust vote on July 22,2008,Sukhdev Singh Libra has resigned from Parliament.

Libra was elected Member of Parliament from the now-scrapped Ropar (Reserved) Lok Sabha constituency on the SAD ticket in 2004. He told The Indian Express today that he had tendered his resignation on March 16 to avoid any possible action under the Anti-Defection Act,which prohibits changing the party as an elected public representative.

“Though Lok Sabha was not yet dissolved and I had not yet received any formal expulsion order from the SAD,I preferred to resign from my post instead of courting any controversy at later stage,” said Libra.

Two days after resignation,Libra had formally joined the Congress,which has fielded him from Fatehgarh Sahib (Reserved) Lok Sabha seat. Claiming overwhelming support from the people as a Congress candidate,the 76-year-old said he feels proud to be among the “saviours” of the first Sikh Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. “At that crucial stage,if our government at the Centre had fallen,the entire country and Punjab would have been in deep trouble,” he said,adding that he listened to his conscience instead of the party whip. Libra,who has also remained Rajya Sabha member in 1998 and MLA in 1985-88,said,“Voters are justifying my stand,and will ensure my re-entry to Lok Sabha.”

Coming down heavily upon the SAD leadership for “promoting dynasty rule and sidelining veterans”,Libra said he would bring all-round development,employment,better education,health,agriculture,industrial and sports facilities. “I will strive for more subsidies in agriculture and industry sectors in Punjab,” he said.

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