Former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal with ex-MLA Amarpal Singh Bony who rejoined the party at a rally in Amritsar Thursday. (Express Photo/ Rana Simranjit Singh)
Former Ajnala MLA Amarpal Singh Bony returned to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) during a party rally in Raja Sansi of Amritsar Thursday. While SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal posted a message on Facebook stating that he had welcomed both Bony and his father Rattan Singh Ajnala — who were expelled from primary membership in 2018 for “indulging in anti-party activities” — back into the party, the latter did not confirm the same.
The father and son had quit SAD along with Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and Sewa Singh Sekhwan in December 2018 and formed the SAD (Taksali).
Speaking at the rally, Bony said he was an Akali before and would remain an Akali always. He added that he had got “disillusioned” by the Taksali faction and had left it when he realised it was a “Congress front”.
Sukhbir made a one-line announcement about Bony’s return to SAD in the middle of his speech. Later, Bony was offered a Siropa at the end of rally by senior leader Parkash Singh Badal.
Sukhbir also went to the Bony’s home and posted a picture on Facebook along with him and his father Rattan Singh. “I welcome the homecoming of senior Akali leader Dr Ratan Singh Ji Ajnala and his son Amarpal Singh Bony Ajnala to the Shiromani Akali Dal. They have returned back to their mother-party after realising the so-called Taksali group had essentially become a front for the #Congress party. Their rejoining will further strengthen the Shiromani Akali Dal,” said Sukhbir on his Facebook page.
However, Rattan Singh told the media, “Sukhbir Singh Badal had come back to ask about my health. Nothing else was discussed. Bony is wise enough to take his decisions.”
Bony is yet to clarify whether he still stands by the affidavits and statements he made in court against former minister and Majitha MLA Bikram Singh Majithia in relation to a drug smuggling case.
In March 2016, Bony, as chief parliamentary secretary in the SAD-BJP government, had written to then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and alleged that one of his friends, Maninder Singh Bittu Aulakh, had been wrongly implicated in a drug smuggling case under pressure from Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia.
The three-page letter in Punjabi, contained very serious allegations.
Even after the formation of the Congress government in the state in 2017, Bony submitting an affidavit, carrying the same allegations, to the Justice Mehtab Singh Commission, which was formed by Captain Amarinder Singh to probe the alleged false police cases registered during the rule of the SAD-BJP government.
Bony also appeared as a witness in favour of his friend Bittu Aulakh in the Jagdish Bhola drugs case in Mohali court and repeated what was said in the affidavit to the Justice Mehtab Singh Commission. Later Aulakh was acquitted in the case.
Bonny Ajnala had claimed in the affidavit that Bittu Aulakh ran a hotel in Amritsar and his father Rattan Ajnala, as then Amritsar rural president of SAD, held party meetings at the hotel. He introduced Bittu to Bikram Singh Majithia in 2005 and Bittu was his election agent in 2012 and also helped Majithia. But after the formation of Akali government again in 2012, the rift between Majithia and his (Ajnala) family widened and Majithia asked Bittu to distance himself from us or face dire consequences, he claimed.
“My friend Bittu Aulakh has no links with any drug smuggler and he has been falsely implicated to tarnish the image of our family and this was made the reason for denial of ticket to contest Lok Sabha elections in 2014 to my father,” reads the affidavit.
Bony had also made several personal remarks against Majithia’s sister, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Sukhbir takes on CM At the rally, Sukhbir said that the people would not allow Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s move to break the SGPC succeed. He also accused the CM of befooling people by making false promises in the name of the Dasam Pita. “Forget fulfilling any promise made to farmers, youth or the poor, the Congress government had failed to even protect the prime witness in the Behbal Kalan police firing case. The witness was driven to death by Congress leaders Gurpreet Singh Kangar Singh and Kikki Dhillon (Kushaldeep Dhillon) who had pressurised him not to give witness against the accused police officials,” he said.
He further claimed that power had become expensive in Punjab due to “Congress mismanagement and scams”. He assured the people that not only would the SAD restart government recruitment once it came to power, it would also give 400 units of free power to poor sections of society.