CHANDIGARH: In a major political development ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections, former Jail Minister in the SAD-BJP government Sarwan Singh Phillaur and his son Damanvir Singh Phillaur resigned from the Congress on Monday and joined the SAD (Sanyukt).
The move is expected to boost the poll prospects of the SAD (Sanyukt)-BJP-PLC (Punjab Lok Congress) alliance in the state.
The development is being seen as a setback to the Congress, mainly in Doaba region where Phillaur enjoys considerable clout. Phillaur joined the new party in the presence of former Union Minister and SAD (Sanyukt) president Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa. Political analysts say Phillaur’s decision could impact the outcome in five to six seats in the Doaba region.
Alleging victimisation for being a Dalit, Phillaur had quit the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and joined the Congress in 2016.
Welcoming the father-son duo into the party fold, Dhindsa said both were known for the upliftment of oppressed classes and have served the people of Doaba, particularly Phillaur, day in and day out for the last several years. “Leaders like them, despite their hard work, found no place and respect in the Congress as the party is only interested in minting money by exploiting Punjab and its resources,” said Dhindsa.
Speaking to the media, Phillaur alleged that the Congress and the SAD (Badal) were hand in glove with drug, sand and transport mafias. “We tried to work against the mafia culture, corruption and took up issues of concern like deteriorating law and order and lack of development in Phillaur, but neither the state Congress nor central leadership was ready to resolve the problems. So, we were left with no other option but to resign from the party,” he said.
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