Sitting MP from Sangrur and AAP leader Bhagwant Mann Saturday took a swipe at SAD candidate for the seat, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, saying the former finance minister, who was "reluctant" to enter the poll fray, will "bite the dust". Mann claimed that with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) "facing public anger" over the handling of 2015 sacrilege and subsequent police firing incidents, Parminder's father and former Union minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had rightly advised him not to contest coming Lok Sabha polls as he knew he would face a drubbing.
The Akali Dal Friday announced to field Parminder Singh Dhindsa from Sangrur in the Lok Sabha elections. "He (Parminder) had initially said he did not want to fight Lok Sabha elections but if party asks then he would abide by it. If a person has jumped the poll fray half-heartedly, it means he knows that he is going to be defeated," said Mann, who had defeated Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and is now seeking re-election from Sangrur.
Taking a dig at the Akali Dal, Mann said it took a lot of time to convince Dhindsa family to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. "If a captain asks his team not to lose a game, it means he is anticipating defeat," Mann said. Claiming that there was still a lot of anger against the Akali Dal over the sacrilege and police firing issues, Mann said it will be extremely difficult for Parminder Dhindsa to face people for seeking their votes. "I wish him good luck. But how will he face people? He should know people are upset with his party over the issue of desecration of religious scriptures," he said.
"His father who has immense political experience was right in advising him not to fight elections as he knew the writing on the wall," Mann claimed. The 45-year-old Parminder Dhindsa, who was the finance minister in the previous SAD-BJP regime, had reportedly apprised the party leadership of not desiring to contest the Lok Sabha polls as he was a sitting legislator. However, he had also said he would abide by the party's decision.
His father and veteran Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had reportedly asked him last month not to contest the Lok Sabha polls and said he would not campaign for him if Parminder Dhindsa decided to fight elections. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had resigned as the SAD's secretary general and from its core committee, citing health reasons, last year. Ever since quitting the posts in the SAD, Sukhdev Dhindsa has been staying away from party activities.
(With inputs from agencies.)