Chandigarh, Jan 7 (IANS) Upset over being denied a Congress ticket for the Jan 30 state assembly polls, Malwinder Singh, the younger brother of Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh, Saturday quit the party and joined the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal.
Malwinder Singh, who openly opposed the Congress allotting a poll ticket for the Samana assembly seat to Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh, was welcomed into the Akali Dal fold by its president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the deputy chief minister.
‘The (Congress) party has done great injustice to me despite my working for the party interests,’ Malwinder Singh, who like his brother belongs to the erstwhile Patiala royal family, said here.
Sukhbir Badal said that Malwinder’s joining the Akali Dal would strengthen the party further.
Earlier, Malwinder had threatened to contest the state poll from Samana as an Independent, but also said he kept his options open.
He also said that his elder brother (Amarinder) could not be blamed for his not getting the Congress ticket.
‘I don’t think that he (Amarinder) had a role in this. My ‘bhabhi’ (sister-in-law) is the one responsible for this situation. I had spoken to her last week but she was adamant on getting the Congress ticket for Raninder,’ an upset Malwinder Singh said.
Malwinder also blamed Gulchain Singh Charak, who is in charge of the Congress affairs in Punjab, for the denial of the poll ticket to him.
‘This man (Charak) has no standing in Jammu from where he comes and has no political understanding (of Punjab). He contested an election in Jammu once and even lost his security deposit. Such people have been put in charge of Congress affairs in Punjab,’ he said.
The Congress is facing rebels at some three dozen of the 117 assembly seats in the state.