Boost to SAD: ex-PPCC chief Kaypee joins ranks, Gets nominated from Jalandhar

  • | Wednesday | 24th April, 2024

/   In a surprising twist of political allegiances, Punjab Congress former heavyweight and seasoned parliamentarian Mohinder Singh Kaypee on Monday made a dramatic leap across party lines to join the ranks of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Amidst a flurry of recent defections shaking up the states political landscape, Kaypees decision to switch sides has injected fresh intrigue into the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, with the former Jalandhar MP now poised to contest from the pivotal Jalandhar constituency under the SAD banner.   Kaypees decision dealt another blow to the Congress just two days after Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary, the wife of the late Congress MP from Jalandhar Santokh Chaudhary, joined the BJP in New Delhi. This is second major defection from Congress in past three days in protest against former Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channis candidature from Jalandhar.   With this, Kaypee would find himself on a collision course with his own relative — former Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi — in what promises to be a riveting showdown for the Jalandhar reserve seat. Adding to the intrigue, Kaypees daughter is married to Channis nephew, setting the stage for a high-octane electoral battle infused with familial ties and political ambition.   The transition was marked by a visit from SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal to Kaypees residence in Jalandhar, where he warmly welcomed the veteran politician into the party fold. Sukhbir expressed his appreciation for Kaypees integrity and longstanding service to both civil society and the Dalit community, emphasizing the invaluable contribution he is expected to make to the Akali Dal.   Before this, former Chief Minister and Congress candidate from Jalandhar Lok Sabha constituency Charanjit Singh Channi arrived at Kaypees home late Sunday night to persuade him. However, Channis efforts yielded no results.   Following Channis elevation to the position of Chief Minister, there were expectations that Kaypees stature within the party would grow significantly. However, this anticipation did not come to fruition. Described as a reserved leader with a tranquil disposition, Kaypee is recognized for his subdued yet impactful presence in Punjabs political landscape. Despite Kaypees bid for candidacy from Adampur during Channis tenure as the Chief Minister in 2022 state assembly polls, he was sidelined for the ticket, which was instead conferred upon Sukhwinder Singh Kotli.   Kaypees decision to join SAD underscored his disillusionment with the Congress and his alignment with the SADs vision for Punjab. He cited differences within the Congress as a primary factor behind his departure, signaling a growing discontent within the party ranks.   The history of Congress and SAD is more than 100 years old. Congress did not value us. But the work done by the SAD raising Punjabs issues, Congress has failed to do that…Congress sidelined the sacrifices of my family. But Akali Dal understood that, which is why I am joining SAD today. People want to see Akali Dal back in power again, he said.   Kaypee added: My family has served Congress since long. My father attained martyrdom when he was in Congress. But, Congress is treating the families of martyrs unfairly. Thats why I left the party.   Adding further, he said: Congress couldnt rectify its mistakes for two years…If Congress mistreats the families of martyrs, if they dont get the respect they deserve, it hurts me. I havent left the party…it feels like the party has expelled us. The family was sidelined. I still remember the mistreatment during the 2022 elections. I remember how much it hurt me.   A stalwart in Punjab politics, Kaypee brought with him a wealth of experience, having served as a Minister in the Congress Governments of 1992 and 1995. He previously represented the Jalandhar Lok Sabha constituency, and his nomination for the Jalandhar (SC) seat is poised to invigorate SADs presence in the region.   After senior SAD leader Pawan Kumar Tinu shifted his allegiance to Aam Aadmi Party recently, finding candidates for Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur has become a challenging task for SAD.   With a rich political legacy, Kaypees association with the SAD is expected to resonate strongly in the Doaba region, where he enjoys significant influence, particularly among Dalit communities. His father, the late Darshan Singh Kaypee, was a revered figure in Punjab politics, serving as a five-time MLA from Jalandhar until his tragic demise at the hands of militants in 1992.   Kaypees decision to join SAD comes at a time of flux in Punjabs political landscape, with key players realigning their allegiances in the run-up to the upcoming elections. His defection from the Congress added momentum to the SADs electoral campaign, positioning the party as a formidable contender in the Jalandhar constituency.   A prominent Dalit leader, Kaypee became MP from Jalandhar constituency on the Congress ticket in 2009. Subsequently, in 2014, Congress fielded him from Hoshiarpur, where he had to face defeat against BJP candidate Vijay Sampla. He has also been elected a legislator thrice — 1985, 1992, and 2002 — from Jalandhar South assembly seat. In 2017, he lost to SAD candidate Pawan Kumar Tinu from the Adampur assembly seat.    

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