Former Akali Dal leader and Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa Monday once again advised his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa not to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
“I stated this earlier and I repeat it yet again. Because of my principles, I have decided not to contest the polls. I have now retired from the active politics. But at the same time, I have advised my son Parminder not to contest the polls. Rest is his decision,” Dhindsa, who was at Gurdwara Mastuana Sahib in Sangrur, said.
A four-term MLA and three-term Rajya Sabha member, Dhindsa resigned from all party posts of the Shiromani Akali Dal in September last year. He was general secretary of the party and a member of the core committee when he had sent his resignation to party president Sukhbir Singh Badal citing his health as the reason. He is 82 years old and was recently conferred upon Padma Bhushan by President of India.
However, in January, he had even demanded resignation of Sukhbir from the post of the SAD president.
The Akali Dal is yet to announce its candidate from Sangrur and speculations are rife that Parminder, who is an MLA from Lehragaga constituency of the district, may get the ticket. Parminder had defeated Congress heavy weight Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Dhindsa had lost to AAP’s Bhagwant Mann by over 2 lakh votes. Dhindsa was later nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
Asked what if Parminder contests the polls from Sangrur, despite the advise of his father as he is seen active in party politics and is even conducting village level meetings in the constituency, Dhindsa said, “He is a five time MLA and even remained the finance minister of Punjab. So it is up to him. He can take his own decision. I have conveyed my feelings”.
Parminder, when asked, told The Indian Express that he has “already told the party that I am not keen to contest” the Lok Sabha polls. “:However if party insists, I will have to abide by its decision. As of now, nothing has been finalised for this constituency and hence it will be premature to talk about candidature from Sangrur”.
“We are conducting village level meetings, something that every MLA and the party leader has been told to do so in their respective constituencies. I am also doing the same.”
Meanwhile, as of now only AAP has started party campaign from Sangrur with party state president Bhagwant Mann being named the candidate. He is the sitting MP and is busy with “Bijli Aandolan” started by AAP against “hefty power bills” . Congress is also yet to decide about party’s candidate.