Veteran Punjab BJP leader and former minister Madan Mohan Mittal on Saturday joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the presence of party President Sukhbir Singh Badal here.The veteran leader, who was instrumental in cementing communal ties after a period of strife along with former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, said he has always stood alongside Badal, who is a symbol of unity, and would also stand alongside Sukhbir Badal, who is carrying forward the same legacy.He also lauded the SAD President for fast-tracking development during his stint in the government as Deputy Chief Minister as well as for bringing in massive investment into the state.
Mittal, who was accompanied by his son Arvind Mittal and the entire rank and file of the BJP of the Anandpur Sahib constituency, said he is also resigning from the BJP to fight the injustice being done to the constituency.
He said while all projects have been taken away from Anandpur Sahib during the Congress regime, the local BJP leadership has failed to safeguard the rights of the people."We have seen rampant illegal mining in the Anandpur Sahib constituency, which needs to be stopped. Truckers and truck unions have also been robbed of their livelihood. I have stepped forward to work for the welfare of Anandpur Sahib and end the discrimination being meted out to it," he said.Sukhbir Badal, while welcoming Mittal into SAD, appointed him as the party's 'halqa in-charge' for Anandpur Sahib constituency.He also announced the appointment of Mittal as the senior vice-president of the party.When queried whether Mittal would contest the forthcoming elections from Anandpur Sahib, Sukhbir Badal said this decision would be left to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), an ally of SAD.The 117-member Punjab Assembly will go to the polls on February 20, while the counting of votes will be taken up on March 10.