JALANDHAR: Brewing discontent in a party is usually an opportunity for the opposition. But in Punjab, both head of the ruling party and head of a major opposition party are facing heat from within and the situation has the potential to take troublesome proportions for both of them. Another commonality they share is the roots of their problems converging at the same point — Bargari sacrilege issue.
The Congress cadres would earlier speak against the performance of Captain Amarinder Singh-led government in hushed tones, but they gave it a loud and clear voice in the first meeting of deed-back process. Similarly, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal received brickbats from senior party leader and Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa the very day he got bouquets for getting “re-elected” as president of the party third time in a row. In fact, Dhindsa has managed to get all Badal (especially Sukhbir) bashers, who were disintegrated earlier, on one platform.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has been facing heat from within his party for the last over four months, when the monsoon session of Punjab assembly took place and his minsters and MLAs did plain speaking during the Congress legislature party meetings over the perceived failure of his government on the issue of Bargari sacrilege case and other issues of governance. Later, the state Congress president Sunil Jakhar held the first meeting in Jalandhar with party workers and local leaders to get their feedback on December 9. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has already given words to this sentiment prevailing in the party when he addressed Sikh activists who held a dharna outside his residence on December 8.
When it could have been an opportunity for SAD (Badal) to cash in on the trouble brewing in Congress, at least in a perception battle, its president Sukhbir Singh Badal is staring at the battle within his own party. Dhindsa, who has been a close comrade of former chief minister and party supremo Parkash Singh Badal, is now not keeping his dissent subtle.