New Delhi : The Badal-led Shiromani Akali'>Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday suffered a serious jolt as Singh Ghubaya'>Davinder Singh Ghubaya, son of party’s sitting MP from Ferozepur, joined the Punjab Congress unconditionally, along with his uncle and supporters.
Davinder and his uncle Munsha Gubaya (brother of Davinder’s father Sher Singh Gubaya) joined the Congress, along with Rajat Nehra, Pt Anand Sharma and Rajinder Kaur, in the presence of Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh.
Sher Singh Gubaya is a member of Parliament from Lok Sabha and Davinder’s decision to join the Congress come just weeks ahead of the Assembly elections in Punjab, and follows a spate of disillusioned Akali'>Akali leaders moving to the Congress. Among the senior SAD leaders who have joined Congress in recent days were MLAs Rajinder Kaur Bhagike and Mahesh Inder Singh, besides former MP Amrik Singh Aliwal.
Welcoming Davinder, Munsha and the others into the party fold, Captain Amarinder said it endorsed the Punjab Congress policies and promises to the people of Punjab and also reflected the total rejection of SAD, which had plunged the state into chaos and devastation through 10 years of its misrule.
To a question from mediapersons about Davinder, an IIT-Roorkee graduate, contesting the Assembly election on a Congress ticket, Captain Amarinder said it was up to the party high command to take any decision in this regard. He reiterated the Congress stand on winnability being the sole criteria for ticket allocation from any constituency for the forthcoming Assembly polls, while adding that if Davinder’s candidature is approved by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he could be the party’s youngest candidate in these elections since he turned 25 just a few weeks ago.
To a question if the joining of Davinder, a Rai Sikh, would benefit the Congress, Captain Amarinder said the community was expected to play an important role in Jalalabad, Fazilka, and Ferozepur urban and rural segments, as well Ajnala and Jagraon. There are 24 seats with a strong Rai Sikh influence, Captain Amarinder pointed out, when asked if Davinder’s joining was a setback for the Badals and the Rai Sikhs.
Davinder, who had been working for the SAD for the past six years, said he had been actively handling his father’s campaign and work. In response to a question, Davinder said he wanted to work for the betterment of Punjab, which he felt only the Congress was equipped to ensure.