March 16, 2021 9:15:01 am
The basic Covid-19 protocol of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing were thrown to winds during a thanksgiving prayer organised by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal outside a gurdwara in Fetahgarh Churian assembly constituency.
The Batala MLA and his son had tested positive for Covid-19 last year. He held the function on Sunday in Fatehgarh Churian, the constituency adjoining Batala, apparently to send across a message to the party that he intends to contest the next year’s Vidhan Sabha polls from there.
Hundreds of people attended the thanksgiving prayer at Othian gurdwara and barring a few none had masks on even as they flouted the social distancing norms.
Lodhinangal, when contacted, said, “ In my speech, I requested the gathering to wear the masks while citing the ordeal my son and I went through after getting infected”.
Addressing the gathering, Lodhinangal cited the delimitation of the constituencies and pointed out that his support base was in Fatehgarh Sahib constituency but he was made to contest from Batala. He added that keeping in mind re-arrangement of the villages post delimitation, the Congress fielded candidates having stronghold in Fatehgarh Churian and constituencies of Dera Baba Nanak and Qadian and they won from there.
Akali leader and former Vidhan Sabha Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon looking for party ticket for his son Ravikiran Singh Kahlon from Fatehgarh Churian.
Lodhinangal said in last elections, Akali Dal lost from Fatehgarh Churian. He added that even when Sunny Deol won parliamentary elections from Gurdaspur, he had lesser vote share in Fatehgarh Churian assembly segment as compared to the Congress candidate.
“I was sent to Batala after delimitation. I am an outsider in Batala. During the function yesterday, people turned up in large numbers even as we made no efforts to arrange any such gathering. The gathering said that they will make me win if I contest from Fatehgarh Churian. People have expressed what is there in their minds. Eventually, party would decide on giving the ticket,” Lodhinangal said over phone.
Kahlon, when contacted, said that he had been nurturing the constituency for years. Ravikiran addded that his two daughters, one studying in United States and other in Canada, also joined him to work in the constituency during the Covid-19 pandemic when no politician was out in the constituency.
About the gathering, Ravikiran said that there were only “394 heads, from Fatehgarh Churian and Batala assembly constituencies”.
He added that SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had given him a word that “I am going to contest from Fatehgarh Churian conctituency”
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