June 22, 2021 1:28:21 am
Rebel Shiromani Akali Dal leaders Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and former MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura made their way to the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Monday, their visit coinciding with that of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and triggering speculations of the duo switching over to the Aam Aadmi Party before the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections.
Kejriwal, while on his visit to the iconic temple, was also welcomed by senior Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Laxmi Kanta Chawal, with the Delhi Chief Minister touching Chawla’s feet amid speculations rumours of the senior leader too may switch over to the AAP.
Coming out of Golden Temple 10 minutes before Kejriwal, Dhindsa said, “We had come to the Golden Temple to pray for the farmers protesting at Delhi’s borders.”
Prodded about him the prospects of him joining the AAP, Dhindsa said, “We can’t say anything now. You will know when and if it happens. People of Punjab want a successful third front to oust the Congress and the SAD alliance from power.”
Kejriwal’s brief meeting with Laxmi Kanta Chawal also triggered speculations of a switch by the BJP matriarch, which she chose to play down.
“I welcomed him as I am a patron of the Durgiana Temple Committee. He touched my feet. It is his greatness that he is so humble. Kunwar Vijay Pratap was also with him. But I have made it very clear that I am not leaving the BJP at the moment. I am not going anywhere,” said Chawal, who in the last four years has often publicly lambasted the BJP.
Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) leader and former Punjab minister, Bikram Singh Majithia, alleged that Vijay Pratap’s entry into the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had proved that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, along with Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, were integral to the conspiracy to malign the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in cases of sacrilege.
Addressing a press conference, Bikram Majithia said “There cannot be bigger proof of the collusion between the AAP and the Congress. The two parties had earlier formed the government in Delhi. Trading of legislators between the two parties in Punjab is also common. Now again both the parties have openly joined forces in Punjab in a desperate attempt to keep the SAD from coming to power. This is why Kejriwal did not utter one word against Capt Amarinder Singh during his visit to Punjab”.
Majithia said, “It was condemnable that a former officer, who had misused his position to conduct a biased and politically-motivated probe into the Kotkapura firing incident, was rewarded for his services against the Guru Naam Leva Sangat by the AAP. It had conclusively been proved that Kunwar Vijay Pratap was a co-conspirator and it was necessary to register a case against him and subject him to narco tests. Custodial interrogation of the former police officer is also needed to expose the AAP-Congress conspiracy.”
The SAD leader said, “Now it was also clear that the investigation into the sacrilege cases was politically motivated. It was because of this conspiracy that the AAP, as well as the Congress, extended protection to Kunwar Vijay Pratap when he was indicted by the election commission, his own fellow officers from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) as well as the Punjab and Haryana High Court..”
Majithia said it was condemnable that Kejriwal was talking about giving a ‘Sikh face” in Punjab as its chief ministerial candidate, but had not projected even one Sikh face in Delhi despite forming the government thrice in the state.
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