Late Akali minister’s son to contest as independent

April 3rd, 2009 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, April 3 (IANS) Just a day after immersing the ashes of his father, senior cabinet minister and Akali Dal leader Kanwaljit Singh, Jasjit Singh Bunny Friday resigned from Punjab’s ruling party and announced he would contest the Lok Sabha elections as an independent.
Bunny, 37, who is chairperson of the Punjab state cooperative bank, also quit his job.

The move comes just five days after Kanwaljit Singh, a senior minister in the Parkash Singh Badal government, was killed in a car crash near Kharar town, 25 km from here, Sunday. The 66-year-old seasoned Akali leader, who was earlier a captain in the army, represented the Banur assembly seat in Patiala district.

“I am resigning from the Shiromani Akali Dal and I have decided to contest as an independent candidate from the Patiala Lok Sabha seat,” a visibly disturbed Bunny told media here Friday.

“I am determined to win from Patiala. My father enjoyed a good reputation there and he had served this area throughout his life. If I win this seat and am able to work for the development of the area then it would be my biggest tribute to my father,” said Bunny.

Bunny’s decision at a hurriedly called press conference took the entire political fraternity by surprise.

The move could embarrass the Akali Dal as he did not even wait for the completion of last rites (bhog ceremony) of his father that is slated for Sunday.

Particularly embarrassed would be Chief Minister Badal, a long time confidant and associate of Kanwaljit Singh, and Akali Dal president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Sukhbir Badal’s elevation, first as the Akali Dal president last year and as deputy chief minister January this year, ignored the seniority of senior Akali Dal leaders like Kanwaljit Singh in the party and the government.

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