In a major setback to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one of its key youth leaders, Harmeet Singh Pathanmajra, joined Congress here in the presence of Patiala MLA Preneet Kaur on Saturday.
Welcoming Pathanmajra into the party fold, Preneet expressed the confidence that the joining of the young Turk, with his strong base in Patiala district especially Sanour assembly segment, the Congress would get a further boost in its election campaign in Patiala.
His joining, said Preneet, was a sign that not only the people of Punjab but also genuine Akali leaders and workers were feeling suffocated under the Badal misrule. "The way senior Akali leaders are deserting Akali Dal to join Congress is itself a vindication that only the Congress under leadership of Captain Amarinder can bring Punjab back on the path of progress,” she added.
Expressing full faith in the leadership of Punjab Congress President Captain Amarinder Singh, Pathanmajra said that he had joined the party unconditionally. Pathanmajra, who was member of the Youth Akali Dal Core Committee before quitting the party in September last year, said that Badals had been looting Punjab with both hands.
"Only Captain Amarinder can bring back the hey days of Punjab,” he said, after his formal induction in Congress at Moti Bagh Palace. Along with Pathanmajra, hundreds of his supporters also joined the Congress.
Associated with Akali Dal for two decades before quitting the party, Pathanmajra was former Patiala Youth Akali Dal president.