A picture has surfaced online showing workers of the Shiromani Akali Dal (B) sitting on top of a vehicle allegedly sponsored by the SGPC. Team of Akali Dal candidate Bhagwan Das Janeja from Patiala has caused a stir as the picture shows him, along with other party members, sitting on top of the SGPC van with their feet on a Gurbani quote.
There seems to be no end in sight to growing concern about the Akali Dal (B) and its pro-Hindutva ally, the Bhartiya Janta Party. It has been perceived that the Akali Dal had fielded a Hindu candidate from Patiala for the first time to appease the BJP, however, similar to the case of Arun Jaitley, Janeja’s nomination may further quarantine relations between the political allies.
It should be remember that during a Lok Sabha campaign in Amritsar, Cabiner Minister Bikram Majithia had changed a Gurbani panktee to include the name of Arun Jaitley. This incident was widely condemned by Sikhs worldwide, and this later came to hurt Arun Jaitley severely in the election campaign and he end up losing to Capt. Amarinder Singh.
Bhagwan Janeja’s nomination has also brought worth to the Akali Dal. When asked by a journalist about his plans for Patiala, he failed to give any response. Janeja stated that he would improve the zoo in Patiala, amongst other non-important issues for the Patiala residents. He has suffered from much embarrassment during interactions with the media.
Janeja also made a mockery of himself when he filed his candidature papers stating his education as “Under Primary.” Janeja is likely not fit to give a competition to Aam Aadmi Party’s Harjeet Singh Adaltiwala or Preneet Kaur of Congress. His nomination has been widely questioned a nexus between the Akali Dal and Congress in Patiala, to benefit Preneet Kaur. A similar tie has been alleged in Talwandi Sabu, where former Congress member Jeet Mohinder Sidhu is contesting as the Akali Dal candidate, against Congress Party’s Harminder Jassi (relative of Sacha Sauda chief). Both are facing a tough competition from Prof. Baljinder Kaur.