August 26, 2021 10:35:55 pm
Former Punjab Cabinet minister Seva Singh Sekhwan and his son Jagroop Singh Sekhwan joined Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in presence of the party’s national convenor, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Thursday, at the former’s native village Sekhwan in Gurdaspur district.
Sekhwan, 71, was a minister in the Parkash Singh Badal-led Akali government.
A Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member, Sekhwan had left the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in 2018 alongwith former SAD MP Ranjit Singh Brahmapura. Both had later joined Shiromani Akali Dal (United) formed by Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.
Sekhwan had said that his only reason to quit SAD was to strengthen the Akali politics and he would never join any other party to revive the ‘original’ Akali Dal and free it from the clutches of the Badal family.
However, while joining AAP in the presence of Kejriwal, he said, “My health was not good and no one came to ask about my health. But here Kejriwal has come to check on my health despite being CM. He is such a great person. I dedicate myself to Kejriwal from today and will do everything possible I could do to support him.”
The Delhi CM said, “Sewa Singh Sekhwan and his family have made a great contribution towards the development of Punjab. Sewa Singh Sekhwan is our elder and we have come to seek his blessings. We want Jathedar Sekhwan to continue to guide us.”
He added: “I do not come to indulge in politics, rather we have a mission to ensure that the rich and the poor get good medical treatment, children get quality education, cheap and uninterrupted electricity and other facilities. Every citizen must get freedom from corruption and mafia rule.”
He said that with Sekhwan joining the AAP family, his mission would get a major momentum.
However, he did not speak on whether or not Sekhwan would contest elections due to his health issues. The Punjab Assembly polls are due early next year.
Sources said Sekhwan wants his son Jagroop to contest elections. However, it is also not sure which seat would go to the Sekhwan family. The family has not won any election in the last 10 years. Sekhwan’s influence is limited to his constituency Qadian and surrounding areas.
Kejriwal’s visit to Sekhwan’s home was also seen as the party’s attempt to widen its base in Majha region. Unlike in Malwa, the party has no popular face from Majha. It had failed to make any impression in Majha in the 2017 Assembly and 2019 parliamentary elections.
The AAP had sacked it’s most popular face from Majha and once state president Sucha Singh Chhotepur in 2016, just a few months before election. The party had also invested in Punjabi artist Gurpreet Singh Ghugi, to make him the party face from the region. He, however, had a narrow defeat from Batala in 2017 and later quit the party.
Kejriwal had take on former SAD minister Bikram Singh Majithia in 2017 and made lawyer Himmat Singh Shergill contest against Majithia to strengthen the party claim in Majha. However, not only did Shergill lose, Kejriwal later also apologised to Majithia in a defamation case, which hurt the party, especially in Majha.
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