Bathinda, Punjab: Though deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal welcomed Joginder Kaur, 75, daughter of former President of India Giani Zail Singh into the party fold amid much fanfare, yet the latter downplayed the development saying she was here to bless Sukhbir Singh Badal and former district Congress president Anil Bhola and others, who joined the SAD on Monday.
Sukhbir announced from the stage that Kaur had also joined the SAD, which would further help the party in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
However, downplaying the announcement, Kaur said, after the function, that she had come here to bless Sukhbir and Bhola.
She said her age was not fit for politics. It was immaterial whether she joined SAD or not.
“My son and Bhola were good friends. Also, Bhola’s father and my father were good friends. I was called here to give blessings to him. Bhola had asked me to be present here saying that he will not join SAD without my blessings, so I am here,” she said.
She said that though her family was an old Congress family, yet her father was not given due respect in Congress. Rather, SAD gave the family proper respect. She, however, added that she had no objection to joining SAD.
Speaking on the occasion, Sukhbir also accused the Congress of sidelining Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
He said that the Prime Minister was nowhere visible in the election campaign, which shows how he has been neglected within the party.He announced that the party’s manifesto for the parliamentary elections would be out by April 17-18.
Sukhbir said that Manpreet’s using Congress symbol in the election has also led to great resentment among Congress leaders. Bhola, in his address, charged Manpreet Badal with trying to grab 16 acres of their ancestral land in the city in 2009.
However, Manpreet Badal, when contacted, denied the allegation and said that why Bhola remained silent for so many years. He said that there was no change in persons at the helm of affairs now as Parkash Singh Badal was chief minister at that time also so why was Bhola making this accusation now.
The AAP leader, who was also a party’s ticket- seeker from Bathinda parliamentary constituency Sadhu Ram Kusla and Punjabi actress Pinky Sandhu, popularly known as Pinky Mogewali, also joined the SAD on the occasion.