Punjab Congress vice president and former MLA Surinderpal Singh Sibia, along with his supporters, joined Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday in presence of party president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh. Welcoming Sibia into the party fold, Sukhbir declared him as the SAD-BJP candidate from Barnala assembly constituency for next year’s state polls. Equating Congress with a “sinking ship”, Sukhbir said the joining of Sibia to SAD fold clearly signifies that “honest and dedicated leaders” have no place in Congress which is neck deep in “sycophancy” and where “selling of poll tickets is the order of the day”.
He termed Congress a “divided house”, and claimed “internal fighting” in that party has reached such a level that everybody aspires to be the Chief Minister and nobody wants to see its state chief Amarinder Singh as the CM, against whom lobbying and plotting is on the rise. Sukhbir took a dig at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and termed him a “self destructive gun” who is out to “damage” the prospects of his party with his “actions and utterances”.
He said Sibia is a leader and expressed strong hope that with his entry, SAD would emerge stronger. Speaking on the occasion, Sibia thanked Sukhbir and said he reposes full faith in the policies and programmes of SAD and would fulfill every duty assigned to him by the party with full devotion.