In yet another blow to the Congress in Punjab, MLA Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu and senior party member Malkit Singh Birmi from Ludhiana resigned from the party and joined the Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday.
Sidhu had first contested from Talwandi Sabo in 1997 on a Shiromani Akali Dal ticket, but did not win the seat. In 2002, he contested as an independent candidate from Talwandi Sabo and defeated Congress nominee Harmander Singh Jassi by 236 votes. He was taken into the Congress fold by then Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in 2004.
He won successfully contested the Assembly elections in 2007 and 2012 on a Congress ticket from Talwandi Sabo. Malkit Singh Birmi was the Minister for Jails in Capt Amarinder Singh’s government in 2002. Birmi’s political graph dipped when he lost in the Assembly elections of 2007 and 2012 from Ludhiana Rural and Atam Nagar, respectively.
Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Charanjeet Singh Atwal said he accepted Sidhu’s resignation. When asked about his decision to join the Shiromani Akali Dal, Sidhu said the Congress in Punjab and at the Centre was losing popularity.
“The Congress top leaderships’ indecisiveness is having a direct impact on the workers in Punjab,” he said. He added that state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa was taking unilateral decisions, like in the case of Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) chief Manpreet Singh Badal.